Saturday, November 25, 2006

Communications Committee Meeting at 8:00 Sunday

It's now after the meeting. If you were there, please give your impressions.

The Communications Committee said they'd begin at 8:00 tomorrow morning (November 26th) instead of the usual 8:30. They meet in the first room on the right down the hallway to the left of the ERC and Fellowship Hall. There were at least 75 people there last week. We need to be there this week -- in great numbers! Go with an open mind and a pen and notepad to take notes and remember to be respectful if you're going to ask a question.

504 comments:

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New BBC Open Forum said...

Reposted from another thread:

Tim said...

To the Family of Bellevue:

If you do not stand for something, then you will fall for anything.

If this issue means nothing to you then by all means sleep in this coming Sunday. Don't deprive yourself of an hour of sleep to attend the meeting with the communication committee. They will be glad that you are not there anyway.

Not to mention if you don't show up they will assume that you really don't care and there is a pot full of that can be distributed out just like this has been done.

However, if you do care. If you do believe that the Bible really does have something to say about this. If you are really committed to living your life based on the Word of God and you have any intention at all of staying at Bellevue, then you need to devote at least one hour of your life to let your voice be heard.

12:27 AM, November 25, 2006

Anonymous said...

Everyone: Go + Ask your questions.

And don't go with the intentions of rejecting everything that say as lies prior to attending and hearing what they have to say.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Is this the same type of meeting as the ones being held with the different groups around the church, i.e. SS leadership, Preschool ministry, Choir, etc? If people attend these, do they also need to go to the morning ones?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I believe they are. It's like a Q & A session. - It's for people who aren't part of one of those groups or have additional questions, etc.

But to answer your question, it's basically the same type of meeting.

Anonymous said...

popesteve,

acey boy==You mean they are going to tell the truth for a change

Please don't fill up this thread with your trash talk.

Again, I urge everyone to go + ask questions. Don't feel comfortable asking questions? You will still learn something new from the meetings, I am sure.

Anonymous said...

ace will you be attending? I'll save you a seat.

New BBC Open Forum said...

It doesn't matter which "side" (ugly word) you're on or if you've already attended other meetings. We need to be there in numbers to show that not all the questions have been answered satisfactorily. You don't have to ask a question; just be there to listen as objectively as possible and to warm a seat and be counted. (They don't take the roll or make you wear a nametag.) How simple is that?

Besides, maybe NASS will make an appearance, and you can look over the crowd and try to figure out who that mystery sheep is!

Tim said...

Good Godly Men will stay home thinking that someone else will handle these matters and that they have nothing to offer.

Good Godly Women will stay home thinking that they should not get involved in these matters and that their opinion and insights are unwanted.

Good Godly Men and Good Godly Women will stay home on Sunday mornings wondering where they can go to worship. Good Godly Men and Good Godly Women will weep over the decision to stay home.

Good Godly Men and Good Godly Women must be present not only to indicate that questions have been answered unsatisfactorily but also that the current solutions are unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I urge everyone with issues to go.

Just one thought. Please try to ask the questions in a nice way instead of how many have been asked at the different meeting etc. Some have been very disrespectful and rude when asking questions.

what does that accomplish?

Karen said...

I am going to this meeting at 8 am. My mother, who is in the choir, has a meeting at 5 pm tomorrow to discuss whatever is on the choir members minds. I think showing up in numbers is smart - and I want to meet NASS! I will BAAAA until I find her!

Karen

New BBC Open Forum said...

karen wrote:

"I want to meet NASS! I will BAAAA until I find her!"

Fuggetaboutit! NASS didn't just fall off the cabbage truck. But here's a recent photo which might help.

NASS

stillwaitingandwatching said...

NASS, that photo cracked me up!! haa haa

Karen said...

NASS,

You made me do my SW&W impression -I spit coffee on my monitor! Warn me next time! :)

Karen

MOM4 said...

NASS,
That pic could describe a bunch of us - Loved it!!!

Anonymous said...

I can not be at the meeting , we are out of town. Would the CC answers these questions??

Does the time off for the Holy Land trip count as vacation time?

Is SG paid for that time off??

How much vacation time does SG get each year?

Who keeps up with his vacation time and logs it in?

If you dont like me asking these questions, ask yourself, what is wrong with these type of questions

Anonymous said...

Where is all of this written down or where is this policy and can we have a copy of it?

Tim said...

I would like to address what I consider to be perhaps the most important group in our church.

There are quite a number of retired and elderly people in our church. I want you to know that you have not been forgotten. You have struggled, suffered and gave to help Christ build this church.

YOUR WISDOM IS MOST DESPERATELY NEEDED AT THIS TIME.

We can not continue without the insight of these dear people and should we try may God have Mercy upon us.

Some have hearts, stonger and bigger than Bellevue itself and I encourage you to voice your questions.

Some may be faint of heart, but there should be an abundance of young men that would be more than pleased to bring your questions before the committee. Please ask one of them if they would mind helping you.

I would encourage those that know such fine saints to contact them and encourage them to be there.


P.s. I will be the guy with a tool belt around his waste.

Tim said...

One more little side note:

The tool belt is made of leather.

You'll find the wool in the suits down front.

Anonymous said...

Let me throw this in from the outside. If the CC allowed Terry and Ted to review certain documents, and will not allow any other members upon request not to review the same. This may be viewed as discrimination. The CC need to be very careful and at this point, be very open.

Everyone at the meeting Sunday need to ask to review "ALL" credit cards for all staff member along with expense reports for the last 18 months.

Also all direct billings to the church, for the last 18 months.

The check register, bank statements, accounts payables and accounts receiveable files, all for the last 18 months.

Anonymous said...

JudgeLarry said...
This may be viewed as discrimination


Why am I not surprized that there would be discrimination at Bellevue when we have a six year staffer claiming RACISM.

After all RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION walk hand in hand?

Anonymous said...

Heroes Across Pacific Magazine

ADRIAN ROGERS
SOUTHERN BAPTIST LEADER, PASSES AWAY AT 74

By Michael Ireland

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (ANS) -- Tributes from Christian leaders are pouring in after the Rev. Adrian Rogers, a three-time president of the Southern Baptist Convention and leader of a CONSERVATIVE TAKEOVER of the faith, passed away early Tuesday, Nov. 15 in Memphis. He was 74.

Rogers was elected president in 1979 as part of the conservative takeover of the convention. His election turned out to a be a watershed moment for the denomination, and the 16-million-member group shifted dramatically to the right politically and theologically.

In the years that followed, conservative leaders pushed hard against abortion rights, homosexuality and women pastors.

AND WE FACING THE SAME BATTLE THAT PASTOR ROGERS FOUGHT-

Anonymous said...

We had a pastor who taught us to defend the faith so why is anyone taken by surprize when we do?

Anonymous said...

Tim I"ll be there If my Ole "Cabbage Truck" don"t blow a Head..
1..................................
Informed Men are the Cornrerstone of Democracy
2..................................Evil men Triumph when Good men do Nothing
3..................................Follow the Money
4..................................
Should we bring a Dish?

Tim said...

FallethNtheDitch,

Breakfast dish would be preferable. It is a Baptist get together, food is required.

Anonymous said...

Questions regarding conflicts of interest, etc.:

1. Does the current chairman of deacons, Chuck Taylor, have an account for the business supplies at Bellevue?

2. Did anyone on the search committee have family ties to FBC Gardendale staff members who have since been hired by Bellevue?

3. Do any members of the Board of Trustees, deacon officers, or Communication Committee members frequently do business with Bellevue?

4. What happens to the checks that Dr. Gaines receives on Wednesdays when he preaches at other churches? Is any reimbursement made for Wednesday pulpit supply?

5. Why has Bruce Brooke been the chairman of the Board of Trustees for so long since this violates the current bylaws from 1929?

6. How many deacon officers/deacons have family members (by blood or marriage) who are on staff at Bellevue?

7. What was the process for the approval of the Prayer building? What companies will be involved in its design and construction? What committee or group made these decisions?

And to address these and many other potential issues, we need to ask 1) when the next business meeting will be; 2) How much notice will the congregation receive if they do not know the date; and, 3) how a member of the congregation can go about putting something on the agenda for the consideration of the membership.

Just my opinion as usual.

Anonymous said...

Also:

8. Are there any members of Communications Committee who are related (blood or marriage) to Bellevue staff members?

9. Are there any members of the Communications Committee who are "business dependent" on another committee member?

just my opinion...

Tim said...

25+,

You beat me to it putting #9 on there. Given the personalties involved with that one it might create a stir.

Anonymous said...

From the 1929 bylaws:

"The directors of the corporation shall be seven in number, shall serve for one year or until their successors are duly elected and qualified and shall be elected by the members of said Bellevue Baptist Church at the last monthly business meeting prior to the end of each calendar year, beginning with the year 1929."

When have they been "elected by the members at the last monthly business meeting"?

Anonymous said...

By the way... didn't those bylaws say "monthly business meeting"??

hmmm...

Tim said...

10. Why does the long range planning committee not have a plan after nearly a year?

11. Why have the projects that were slated for last years love offering not yet begun?

12. Why are we sitting on a $25M stock pile in the bank? Are we expecting to have a signifigant budget shortfall that would require those funds to be available?

Tim said...

13. When is our next monthly business meeting that is mandated by our by-laws?

Anonymous said...

25+yrs@bbc
Perfectly honest questions that have still not been answered.

Anonymous said...

I cannot attend tommorrow since I will still be out of town. I have offered these to those who will attend. Please don't think ill of me. I'll be baaaack. If some of these are asked and answered, please summarize the response here. I will pray for the Committee and for all in attendance.

Memphismom02 said...

I teach 8:00 am Bible Fellowship. How long might this meeting last?

New BBC Open Forum said...

Last week it lasted until 9:45. People came and went as needed.

2006Huldah said...

To Tim and 25+yrs@bbc:

These are really good questions you have put together. The things that gbc_member wrote yesterday after having gone through all this sort of stuff would also be an excellent outline of proposals for an actual way to bring about some future settlement of issues at Bellevue. All of the things said by y'all and gbc would be reasonable and sensible without being petty. I still say that the pastor of our church should NEVER have climbed over a fence on private property and lead his baby sheep to follow him. What a shame to the church he pastors and the Lord he serves. What a stumbling block to others that was.

Tim said...

We don't happen to have anyone in the group that takes shorthand do we?

Or perhaps someone could bring one of those little pocket recorders.

Anonymous said...

i sure hope you ask more serious questions than most posted in this thread.

2006Huldah said...

To Tim:

The posts from gbc_member that were really good can be found as follows:

"We Are Not Alone"--Third post from the bottom as it now stands.

"The $25,000 Question..."--There are several, but the main one is about 4/5s of the way down. Your posts on this same topic are really near to gbc's. Just thought I would help you find them as a reference so you can write 'em all down before tomorrow morning. Maybe you could put them on individual index cards or notes and hand them out to the crowd that shows up so that others would be participating and not just YOU. No reason you should get all the glory, huh? (Just kidding. I was actually thinking it was more like taking all the heat.) Oh, how Jesus does love you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Regarding several of these very pointed questions for the CC, I think a different opening approach is needed. I would recommend that the initial questions be asked regarding BBC's procurement policies in general. Is open competition the written policy of the church for the procurement of goods and services? What is the written process for award of contracts for such goods and services?

Tim said...

To Bellevue Members that Attended Today:

It is with my deepest regret that I was unable to attend today. We have had a virus that has ravaged my family within the past several days and I got my turn with it last night. I look forward to an update and apologize that I was not able to be there. I sincerely hope that there was a strong turn out this week and that it will be even larger next week. God willing, I will be there next week.

Karen said...

I went to the meeting this morning and I think the most productive thing that happened is Wayne Vandersteeg personally apologized and took responsibility for the $25,000 gift FUMC. I accept his apology because if I don't, I think that will sow a seed of bitterness in my heart that I don't need to have. They admitted that the Finance Committee did not pray over the gift - ok, so maybe that was a sin. We can't ask for it back so I am going to move on from this issue. I still feel bad about it, but there's nothing we can do except put checks in place so it won't happen again. I did realize that $4.2 million dollars (is that the correct amount cited?) went to missions last year and I can only hope that God will use that $25,000 in His infinite wisdom - that the money will go to help only the homeless and feeding program at FUMC. We will never know what specifically happened to that money until we all get to Heaven.

That's the biggest thing I got from the meeting - I think the CC really hears "us". I think some of them are as lost as we are in terms of what needs to be done. They know there are a lot of hurting sheep, but I think they are just men and women appointed to circumvent the sheep from tearing apart the shepherd.

These are of course my opinions - do with them what you may.

Have a great day! Karen

New BBC Open Forum said...

There are a couple of new posts in the "Psst! Come in here... " thread. Click on "October Archives" and scroll down to see that topic.

NBBCOF

Tim said...

Karen,

What checks have been put in place to prevent this from happening again?

Wayne Vandersteeg personally apologized and took responsibility. Did he authroize the check?

Now that they hear us. Do they intend on doing anything about it or do they intend on doing more of the same?

WOUNDEDANDBLEEDING said...

Greetings to you in the healing name of Jesus who is our great physician!

Early this morning Brother Charles set his sails for Truth and attended the information meeting at our beautiful Bellevue.

Let me give you his first hand account of that meeting and observations.

There was a constructed effort to break the rather large group of concerned members into smaller groups however, many resisted obvious efforts to reduce the audience from sitting collectively as one, and eventually those in charge of the meeting finally succombed to one group, one meeting for all.

All seats were occupied and a number of members left standing by the time all those who had concerns were assembled.

It appeared to Brother Charles that there were a little over 100 people who attended, with at least three people in the audience who seem to be there, not for personal concerns about the church, but rather concerns for those who had concerns about the church, giving the appearance that some people were planted, if only by themselves, to override or lighten the seriousness of real and concerning questions or to put it a differnt way, to question the questions.

Brother Charles failed to hear all of those who were there to answer questions, identify themselves so he is not sure who was answering the questions. I am sure someone else will chime in with that information.

The first question came from a lady who asked about tithing records being examined by the pastor and staff for those who minister in anyway at Bellevue.

She received a mixed answer of comments from a genrleman who said he didn`t mind having his tithes examined.

The lady made a clear point that tithing was between the tither and GOD.

The point was made that she had asked this same questions at the last meeting in a way that seemed to deminish her question this morning but she explained that at the last meeting she was told that the information she had presented, concerning the tithing examinstion was labeled as being NOT correct. She further explained that she had gone back and re-read information which laid out the facts that at Gardendale the pastor did require that only perfect tithers were allowed to mininster at the church,

This lady made great efforts to correct what those who represented the church this morning, laid at her feet last week and labeled as wrong information.

Brother Charles did not hear an apology from any of the Bellevue Staff towards the lady whom I mention above for telling her she was speaking last week with wrong information.

See part 2 for more information

New BBC Open Forum said...

tim,

That question was asked... if any checks had been put into place to prevent a repeat, and all we got was a nod and a "uh huh" from Mr. Vander Steeg.

NASS

Anonymous said...

Would somebody who is going to the next CC meeting please ask about Bellevue's new baptism policy? SG changed it after he came. People who have been immersed in other denominations (Assemblies of God, Church of Christ, etc.) can now join Bellevue even though their baptism has a different meaning attached to it (Church of Christ – for salvation, Assemblies of God – receiving the Holy Spirit). As we know, the biblical view is that baptism is purely an outward symbol of an inward act. We now accept “alien immersion” which is water baptism without a biblical meaning. In fact, members at Bellevue who have been immersed in other denominations will not be eligible for missionary appointment with the International Mission Board.
If you are going, please ask the following two questions:

1. From what denominations do we accept baptism?
2. Is the leadership of the church concerned that Bellevue members who want to be appointed by the International Mission Board will be denied appointment if they are not baptized in a Southern Baptist church?

Custos said...

PS433: Thank you! That flew all over me when I saw it months and months ago. It was a strange thing--like so mnay things these days. It appeared in the bulletins for a few weeks and then the clause vanished as if it had never been added. Odd.

New BBC Open Forum said...

psalm 43:3,

Someone asked the first part of that question last week. The answer was that they think there's been some sort of change in the policy, but they aren't sure what it is. Sound familiar?

NASS

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Hopefully we will receive a detailed answer to an important question, especially to those who feel a call to missions.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Here's my impression. Why is it that whenever someone asks a question, Harry Smith's stock answer is "Who said that?" or "Who told you that?"

What difference does it make? Just answer the question!

NASS

Ed_T said...

psalm 43:3, let me head this one off before it gets legs.

Yes, Steve Gaines did change one particular instance of something surrounding baptism in another denomination, but for the life of me, I can't remember what the issue was. I just remember that it was something minor....I just wish I could remember it. Doyle Long mentioned it about 2 or 3 months ago, but the issue escapes me for the moment.

I can't answer all of your questions, but I do know that no significant changes have been made in what baptisms we accept when people want to join BBC.

I know this because I am a church clerk and have to deal with this stuff when people come forward. I recently had to inform a young lady who was transferring her membership that she would have to be baptized here, although she had been baptized by her grandfather, who was a Church of Christ minister (very uncomfortable situation...she was shocked that we wouldn't accept her previous baptism).

We DO NOT accept "alien immersion," as you put it and if I understand what you mean by that.

In fact, just this morning, I believe we had a family end up NOT joining because of issues surrounding baptism, so I don't believe your concern of relaxed baptism requirements is merited.

Anonymous said...

There is a CC meeting this afternoon for choir and orchestra members

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to argue, but you are in error. We, in fact, have accepted this type of baptism and it has become a topic of discussion by those at the International Mission Board. To be fair, we might have recently changed the policy to head off potential conflict, but this has been our policy to date.

Anonymous said...

Please re-examine your facts concerning why the Assemblies of God perform water baptism. They do believe in a separate "baptism" of the Holy Spirit, which is evidenced by speaking in tongues, but that is not something that is imparted to someone by water baptism. In their view, it is a spiritual event in a person's life which takes place sometime after salvation. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not advocating it -- but I was at one time a member of an AG church, and I know that this is how they view the "receiving of the Holy Spirit." It is not connected to water baptism. They immerse in water as we do in the Baptist church, and for the same reason.

Your presentation of the Church of Christ view of baptism, however, is right perzackly on the money.

phil413 said...

While I do not know Wayne Vandersteeg personally, he has touched my heart in two of the three meetings that I have attended. He shows the humble approach that I have been looking for from our leadership. I stayed after today's meeting this morning to tell him that personally. He was more than willing to listen to me one on one and I told him if we could hear some of that humility from others as well as the pulpit that I felt this thing could move in a more positive direction.
JMHO Psalm 118:6
David Matlock

WOUNDEDANDBLEEDING said...

Part 1 of Brother Charles` account of the information meeting ended with the lady asking the tithing examination question.

We can not leave the knowledge of examining the PERFECT TITHER question without asking ourselves why perfection is so important in one area and not others?

Also let it be noted that the lady identified the person who said she had quoted WRONG information, as Sonny Tucker.

The next questions brought forward to the committee were

Who authorzed the $25000.00 donation to FUMC?

Why was FUMC not checked out before a donation was made to them

and

Was there any explanation for the donation other than being unknowledgable about FUMC and what they stood for as a church?

The first reponse heard above the question was:

"We answered that last week"

An effort was then made to get the person to get his answer elsewhere but he made the point that others in attendance might want to hear the answer.

Concerned members made it obvious that they were in favor of an answer being presented before them.

The Committee person decided to answer the question.

Basically the answer indicated that the finance Committee had authorized the donation and that there was no knowledge of the pastor at FUMC being a woman.

A lady then asked if the speaker thought the donation was a mistake.

He answered that He didn`t know.

He reaffirmed his first answer by saying in his heart he just doesn`t know if it was wrong or not.

He would repeat himself until another lady would ask him:

What about Abortion and Homosexulity being wrong?
and added that the Bible
says it`s wrong.

Another lady added a question that asked if it was true that FUMC was insured.

The group clapped.

The committee person said do you want me to answer for myself or for the committee.

Please stop here and think about that statement.

Can there really be more than one answer?

Personally he said he wasn`t sure.

There seem to be a gasp in the audience.

He continued by saying that there are some in the church who may hold different views.

The lady said The Bible says Come out and be seperate.

The question drifted a bit into the goernment of the church but was brought back into perspective when a third lady cried openly with her concerns over the donation to a church who believes in abortion and a fourth lady stating that there is nothing wrong with asking question.

One of the committe members rose to say he is proud of the leadership at Bellevue.

Then a gentleman in the audience shares that there are concerns that donations might be mishandled in the future while others in the audience agree with him.

The committee person then invites all who are concerned about the way finances ar being handled, to COME TO THE FINANCE MEETINGS.

A gentleman in the audience says that no discernment is needed for his next question and then he asked for a list of the finanance committe members.

Brother Charles thought he heard two committee members who were present at this morning meeting, identify themselves as members of the budget committee and give their names as

John Crockett and Brian Miller.

Then it was explained by the committee person that the budget committee is a sub committee of the finance committee.

The committee person continued to name members of the budget committee

Wayne Vandersteeg, Harry Smith, Mark McDaniel....

Brian must have been the one who was talking at this time on behalf of the committee because a lady said something to the effect, Brian, I was at the finance committee meetings and was told that I was not allowed to talk

A lady brings questions about the church government again

She also asked who makes all the policies at Bellevue.

Several members then speak up with their concerns about the way church policies are made and administered.

A question reguarding mission money was asked.

A man rose to highlight that truthful answers are not being given to the members as he relates that he personally went out and measured the fence at Brother Mark Sharpe`s community and that the fence came to 43 inches, making the point that it has never been an itty bitty fence. He goes on to say that the fence hit him about half way of his waist and under his arm pitts.

Someone lifted their voice to question why this is being relived.

Several people began to tell the committee how important it was to have the $25000.00 issues solved so we can go on.

A lady began to tell the committee that there is a lack of integtity within the church leadership. Others said they wanted the truth.

Questions about the Pastor`s hidden salary were answered in a way to say that`s the way it has always been done.

Then a statement from the audience was made that the truth is this...The church leaders feel it is none
of the membership business even though the members pay the pastor`s salary.

What does it take to be on the churches VIP list was asked?

A lady says that we are just not getting real answers and pleads for sincere help and sincere answers.

Everyone clapped.

A committee person then tells the audience that no amount of answers will ever satisify this group and that even if Pastor Steve attended the meetings personally, they would not be satistfied.

A man says Gaines has showed no contrition.

Others chime in that as long as new issues pop up, there will always be concerned and questions.

A lady asked if the Pastor would consider attending an open meeting of grievance.

A lot of other question arose.

The point was made that many members have already left the church.

A question was asked why members have been asked to leave if they don`t like it.

A committee person answers taht they know nothing about this.

Others offered much evidence to the fact that members have been asked to leave if they don`t like it.


At the beginning of the meeting, someone on the committee made it a point to say the Brother Vandersteeg was not present at this morning meeting, however he did appear sometime later and say that he took responsibility for the donation to FUMC and apologized.

Please read part 3 for more information

Anonymous said...

maybejustmaybe-

Assemblies of God churches are a little more diverse than Southern Baptist Churches when it comes to their core beliefs. They have wide-ranging views on baptism, and many of them see water baptism as a necessary first step to the the "second baptism" of the Holy Spirit, what they call "speaking in tongues." Thus, there is an added meaning to the act of immersion. You are right, though, in that many AG churches emphasize the symbolic aspect of immersion.

Anonymous said...

My impression of the meeting was not a very good one because of the following observations.

1. Jean Stockdale and Gwen Hodges (I apologize if I don't have the names correct) have been added to the committee. Once again, who are these people, why were they added, and who selected them to the committee? Jean Stockdale said she was under the authority of those over her including her pastor and husband. Nobody is questioning authority unless it gets outside of what God says is right vs. wrong. Would Jean follow the recent Rev. Haggard even though he was living in sin? (I'm in no way saying Pastor Gaines is doing the same thing as Haggard). There is some point that even Jean would say wait a minute. This isn't right. I'd like to hear her answer to what it would take for her to question her pastor.

I didn't hear Gwen Hodges say anything but from asking around, it seems like her claim to fame is being good friends to the Gaine's going way back. Her dad was Pastor Gaine's Minister of Music and Gwen I'm told is a good friend of Pastor Gaine's brother. What could Gwen Hodges possibly bring to the communications committee that could answer any of the questions?

I'm sure these ladies are real nice but why are we adding people like this to the committee? If the purpose of the committee is to get to the bottom of these issues, then what do these ladies bring to the table? It looks like it's all about public relations.

Someone asked a question about business relations inside of the church membership with the church. Jim Angel answered the way the Insurance Committee worked. He said "We'll take bids from anyone but if they are on the committee, they have to step down."

Technically, the wording here may be correct but it doesn't mean much evidently. The church insurance has been with McDonnell Insurance Agency for a good many years. Lanny Saunders is the agent on the account. Lanny is both a member and has been an insurance committee member over the years. Jeff Hall is a part owner of McDonnell Insurance and he was the past chairman of the insurance committee even though McDonnell Insurance Agency had the insurance on the church.
I hope Jim Angel has a chance to address this question next week.

Someone read from the current bylaws how they require a certain number of business meetings. The question was "when is the next business meeting and why don't we follow our current bylaws".

Mr. Harry Smith answered the way he did so many of the questions. He deflects the question by saying "I don't know" or "I'm not sure", or he looks around at the rest of the group and asks if they know. Then he says "we'll check into it and get back with you". This has happened at every meeting so far. If Harry Smith doesn't know, then nobody knows since Mr. Smith is the main layperson that is running the church. This comment is not to slam Harry, it's the truth.

Mr. Smith was also asked "who came up with our church policies" which was a great question. Mr. Smith replied "I don't know". He then looked around at the rest of the group and aksed them if they knew. This was probably the most misleading answer of the morning. Once again, there weren't many people in that room that don't know that not much of anything happens at Bellevue without Harry signing off on it.

This morning was more of the same smoke and mirrors we've seen thus far. Why can't we just get together and talk open and honestly about our questions and concerns? This charade is just making things worse, not better. I'd rather we just shut everything down on the questions if we're not going to have them dealt with honestly.

WOUNDEDANDBLEEDING said...

A gentleman in the audience commended and thanked Brother Vandersteeg for taking responsibility for the $25000.00 donation but also voiced his concern for policies to be in place to make sure this never happens again. He asked if there were any current policies that would prevent this from happenening again?

A couple of the committee members referred back to Pastor Rogers to validate their answers to the audience but one quickly apoligized to anyone who might have been offended adding that it was hard not to refer back to someone you have served under for so long.

One member in the audience asked how long will it be before the undercurrent in the committee would give way to just bringing the facts forward.

A concerned lady reminded
the committee that new blood being allowed on the committees was in order as put forth in the bylaws was a good way to have more checks and balances in place.

Points were continually made that there is a lack of trust in the answers that are giving because later they are proven to be incorrect or not giving the full truth.

The lack of transparentcy was mentioned many times throughout the meeting,

A second lady began to cry and talk about the hurting sheep. She made the point that that UNtruthful answers give way to causing members to be insecure in the leadership at Bellevue.

A concerned member pointed out that Pastor Steve told members of Bellevue from the pulpit that if they don`t like the music to leave the church.

No one on the CC ever acknowleged that members have been asked to leave the church if they don`t like it.

There were other things discussed at the meeting but this is Brother Charles` account of the meeting.

It was hard for him to watch the women crying in the meeting.

It was a blessing to see Brother Vandersteeg take responsibility for the donation to FUMC and to hear him apologize for his part in all of this.

It will be a wonderful day when all those who were involved in this, step forward and follow his example when they realize that he can not apologize for anyone but himself.

Though it was a blessing, it was also painful to hear and see all of those who love the church step up and voice their concerns.

The CC meeting left Brother Charles with the impression that they are a well placed firewall for our pastor.

He saw some on the committee members as having an arrogrance about them.

He thought some of the committee members showed by their words and actions that they held those who had concerns in low esteem.

He was truly bothered by the way in which some of the questions were ignored and how many of the questions were met with ambiguous answers.

Perhaps others who were there can fill in the blanks.

We need to stay down on our knees for our church.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I think Brother Charles filled in all the blanks just fine. Thank you! I'm just happy I didn't have to type all that!

Question: Did he record the meeting or just take really good notes?

NASS

Anonymous said...

Why does John Caldwell refuse to apologize to Mark Sharpe for climbing the fence and tresspassing into his neighbourhood?

Why will the CC not answer this question?

Where is John Caldwell at when we need to hear from him?

This man's pride is standing in the way and John Caldwell should not be allowed to hold any leadership positions until he comes clean.


Some of the ladies did not have a chair and had to stand up today. Can we have more chairs in the room next Sunday?

What happen to all the chair from last Sunday's meeting?

We do not want the group to seperate into smaller groups. We want to hear everyones questions.

It was asked many times, "when is the next business meeting?" Harry never told us.

Anonymous said...

FenceJumper said...
Why does John Caldwell refuse to apologize to Mark Sharpe for climbing the fence and tresspassing into his neighbourhood?

For some reason he doesn`t think he needs to or he just doesn`t want to.

Which is it?

Anonymous said...

John Caldwell has been the Chairman Of The Deacons.

John Caldwell is the Chairman of the Deacon Interview Committee. John has been on this committee for 10 consecutive years.

Why does the CC allow a man to serve for 10 consecutive years on this committee? Humm

New BBC Open Forum said...

According to Mark Sharpe, Steve Gaines apologized to him (by phone) about 3 weeks ago and that he accepted his apology. As for the other three jumpers, I've wondered why Mark hasn't heard from any of them. It's Mark they owe an apology to.

NASS

Anonymous said...

This was taken from the FAQ page on the CC website:

Why did Bellevue give $25,000 to the First United Methodist Church of Memphis?
In a meeting with the Finance Committee, Dr. Gaines noted that a church in the community had recently burned and requested the committee consider, at their discretion, if Bellevue could help them in some way. The Finance Committee voted to make a donation. The gift was a gesture to show the community that Bellevue cares about a church that was having a difficult time.

This gift was made in the same spirit as in 1998 when Bellevue sent supplies to the victims of hurricane Mitch in Honduras, sent money to Tsunami victims in December 2004, or when Bellevue opened its facilities to the victims of Katrina last year. Bellevue has helped Catholics in Honduras, Muslims in Indonesia, Buddhist in Thailand and Hindus in India.

Over the years Bellevue has given money to many organizations that do significant humanitarian work but are not perfectly aligned with Baptist doctrine.

In this case, the gift was given to their building fund from our designated disaster relief fund, not general tithes and offerings.

My comment is in three parts:

First, money given to Bellevue, whether tithes and offerings or special offerings, should not help fund churches who directly or indirectly support abortion or the homosexual agenda. The argument has been made that Wal-Mart, Target, et all, indirectly support these causes, so there is no difference between us giving FUMC 25,000.00 and buying groceries at Wal-Mart. Talk about tortured logic! There are more than a few differences. First, If I choose not to buy groceries at Wal-Mart, I can shop somewhere else. I have a choice where to spend my consumer dollars. Tithes and offerings, however, belong to my local church (Bellevue)- there is no other biblical choice for members. In other words, I can't tithe to Focus on the Family or Love Worth Finding if my church misuses funds.

Second, CC members have made the point that these are not tithes and offerings- it was money from the Benevolence Fund that was given to FUMC. To me, this is both splitting the truth and missing the point. ANY monies given to Bellevue- from the pennies and nickels given in the Preschool department all the way to the many thousands of dollars given by adults should not be used to support abortion or the homosexual agenda. Would it have been a better idea for us to send 100 people to help in the soup kitchen or to donate food or clothing for the homeless?

Third, to use illustrations of giving money to organizations that "are not perfectly aligned with Baptist doctrine" again misses the point. As proud as I am to be a Southern Baptist, I am a Christian first and so should we all be. In fact, Bellevue is first and foremost a church of Christians who have chosen to be Baptists. To take the Berean model (Acts 17:11), we should worry less about the Baptist Faith and Message and look more toward Scripture itself as a test for our giving. Let's ask ourselves as Christians, "What does the Bible say about homosexuality? The sacredness of life? Should we support any organization who promotes perversion or killing the unborn?

allofgrace said...

A distinction should be made between giving relief to individuals who are buddhists, hindus, etc, and buddhist, hindu et al organizations. There's a vast difference imho between giving relief to individuals who don't share our beliefs and values and organizations which have the ability to propagate their particular values. Btw, saying buddhists, hindus, and muslims aren't "perfectly aligned with Baptist doctrine", is the understatement of the year.

allofgrace said...

(cont. from last post),
They aren't even playing in the same ballpark. Sounds like one more really juicy rationalization to me.

Bin Wonderin said...

Bellevue has helped Catholics in Honduras, Muslims in Indonesia, Buddhist in Thailand and Hindus in India.

Over the years Bellevue has given money to many organizations that do significant humanitarian work but are not perfectly aligned with Baptist doctrine.


I feel much better about the FUMC $25k donation now that I know BBC is also funding the Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu agenda along with the pro-abortion and homosexual agenda. Don't you?

Bin Wonderin said...

I suppose the Mormons will be showing up soon since they are not on the list yet.

youthmomma said...

Today was the first cc meeting that I have been to. It was exactly as I expected. I almost felt the room swirling from all of the "spin". For the cc to be the ones that have the answers, they really "didn't know" much.

choice_is_yours said...

Has BBC cut $25,000 checks to mosques, buhddist temples, hindu temples?

It is okay for the good samaritan to help an injured and dying hindu on the side of the road,

or injured and dying buddhist on the side of the road,

or injured and dying muslim on the side of the road,

or an injured and dying atheist on the side of the road,

or an injured and dying "apostate christian" on the side of the road,

or injured and dying pope,

or an injured and dying liberal christian.

Whenever we encounter someone who is about to die, that day, without direct, hands-on help, we are in sin if we pass on by. Why? because they might not know Jesus (even if they say they know Jesus).


What is wrong is giving to religious organizations that are not preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And we should hesitate before giving to religious groups that preach that the crucifixtion was a fiction /metaphor.

And we should hesitate before giving to religious organizations that are diametrically opposed to specific critical issues. At BBC, the list of these issues include the most critical issues facing western Christianity such as pro-life.


click for verse context.

2 John 7-11

7For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

8Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

9Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

10If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

11For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Custos said...

My thanks to Brother Charles and Sister Pam for their excellent notes.

If possible, all of these meetings need to be recorded for future reference.

Also, we cannot allow them to split us into groups. It makes it much more difficult to get more brains on a problem if we aren't all together hearing and seeing the same things.

Tim said...

custos,

I have also seen this used before as a political tactic. If you split up into smaller groups it is much easier to find out what it is that they want to hear and then tell them that.

Bin Wonderin said...

Choice is yours.

Well said. AMEN.

Custos said...

Just emailed you Tim.

Anonymous said...

Not one time since the CC has been set up to answer questions has our question of the dream been answered. Each week Harry Smith or Chuck Taylor or Bryan Miller is asked why the church will not get Pastor Gaines, Mark Doughty, David Smith, and Bryson McQuiston in a room together with witnesses and get to the bottom of the dream issue. Each week, they are supposed to take the question, research it, and get back to us. Each week, they don't bring it up again. This tactic is working very well for them as long as we let; them.
According to the story I've heard from the participants and Mark Sharpe, the dream included details that could not be made up by Mark Doughty unless there is something wrong with him. Why is this not being answered. What has happened to Mark Doughty? Has anyone seen him at any of the CC meetings? Is he being hidden from being questioned publicly? This issue is serious and can't be allowed to be swept under the rug by Harry, Chuck, or Bryan.

Anonymous said...

I am genuinely amazed.

--Mike

D. Long said...

Scriptural baptism is "as a believer, by immersion, in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Sprit as a symbol of your salvation."

This statement in Bellevue Today and on the Bellevue website explains what we mean as Scriptural baptism.

The only change to the baptism policy that occured when pastor Gaines arrived was to accept the baptism if it met the above criteria.

We previously required baptism if the person had been baptized in a church that differs with us on the belief in the security of the believer (you can lose your salvation) Dr. Rogers made exceptions to this at times.


Those who hold that baptism is a necessary "part" of salvation (you are not saved if not baptized)do not meet the criteria. Churches of Christ teach baptismal regeneration, as well as losing your salvation. Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) are a mixed lot, and have morphed some. Most pastors that I talk with in that group have indicated that baptism is necessary for salvation.

But it is more than a baptism question. The counselor should address the belief of those presenting themselves for membership. As Dr. Rogers used to say to those considering membership, "if you believe as we do. . ." The Baptist Faith and Message is given to all youth and adults coming for membership. When they attend the required Discovery Class, they are told that the Baptist Faith and Message expresses what we believe, and they should "believe as we believe."

In short, Dr. Gaines conviction is that the security of the believer is not a "baptism" issue.

I hope this answers the question. If you wish to contact me at Bellevue, my office number is 347-5765.

Doyal Long
Minister, Pastoral Care

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing up and explaining that issue, Rev. Long. It is much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

I find you guys funny. First of all, everyone is complaining that you never get your questions answered and urge everyone to go to the CC meetings. Yet, when the meetings come around the corner, most of the active people on these forums are sick + out of town. How convenient. :) But, seriously, don't get me wrong... I'm not saying you're faking/lying...I believe you...I just find it humerous.

I think most (not all) of the people who went to the CC meeting today from these forums went with the decision and thought that everyone there is a liar, and thus, you won't believe anything they say....you come to that conclusion before even arriving at the meeting. Is anyone willing to admit they're guilty of that?

Was anybody at church tonight? Wasn't that an incredible message about the golden rule? I wish everyone here was able to hear it!

Anonymous said...

Tim... you have mail.

Anonymous said...

Ace you came on this forum and defended what Wayne Vandersteeg humbled himself to apologize for. If you want to help the church, follow his lead.

allofgrace said...

sounds really deep ace.

Anonymous said...

healingbalm,

Where you at tonight's service? I think you could have learned something from it.

Anonymous said...

Karen said...
I went to the meeting this morning and I think the most productive thing that happened is Wayne Vandersteeg personally apologized and took responsibility for the $25,000 gift FUMC. I accept his apology because if I don't, I think that will sow a seed of bitterness in my heart that I don't need to have. They admitted that the Finance Committee did not pray over the gift - "
acey- you have been defending this gift to FUMC. Now the man responsible for it,apologised for it,and said he did not want it to happen again. Now do you still believe that it was a wonderful idea?

Anonymous said...

Rev Long, I thought it was nice of you to go the the Gremillions and apologize for your poor conduct and this is why I am asking you if perhaps you would be willing to go to our pastor and ask him to do the same with the flock who he has highly offended?

Or maybe you would consider going to the other men who jumped Mark Sharpe`s fence and ask them to apologize to him for trespassing on private property?

I have a big list here of people who have offended members of the church, if you are interested in helping those in leadership towards a peace plan.

Anonymous said...

ace said...
healingbalm,

Where you at tonight's service? I think you could have learned something from it.

Ace if you had really learned from tonight`s golden rule sermon, you would fall on your knees and ask quite a few people on this list to forgive you and you would definintly stop your attacks on those who do not agree with your blind loyalty for the pastor.

I would like to nicely ask you to really try and let the sermon sink in and then do what you learned.

Anonymous said...

healingbalm,

First of all, you never answered my question. But what's new?

...and you would definintly stop your attacks on those who do not agree with your blind loyalty for the pastor.

Please show me where I attacked someone? That is where you are wrong, buddy. I have never done such a thing.

I would like to nicely ask you to really try and let the sermon sink in and then do what you learned.

Oh, it already has sunk in, don't worry about that.

Anonymous said...

acey- you have been defending this gift to FUMC. Now the man responsible for it,apologised for it,and said he did not want it to happen again. Now do you still believe that it was a wonderful idea?
you seen to be ignoreing this questuion,

Anonymous said...

I am not ignoring any question. All that I have said in the past still stands. I stand by every statement I have said about it.

Were you at tonight's sermon? We are to love everyone regardless of their beliefs + help in times of need...and that's what we did.

Anonymous said...

Psalm 43:3 said:

"This was taken from the FAQ page on the CC website:

Why did Bellevue give $25,000 to the First United Methodist Church of Memphis?
In a meeting with the Finance Committee, Dr. Gaines noted that a church in the community had recently burned and requested the committee consider, at their discretion, if Bellevue could help them in some way. The Finance Committee voted to make a donation. The gift was a gesture to show the community that Bellevue cares about a church that was having a difficult time."

Response: If Dr. Gaines initiated this fiasco, then why is WV falling on his own sword about it? The Finance Committee was doing what they thought the Pastor wanted it seems to me... imo.

Anonymous said...

When I hear a man preaching a good sermon and I know that the fruit of his life is rotten, it breaks my heart.

Please Pastor, live your life the way you preach.

Come forward, admit what you have done, apologize, repent, and accept whatever the consequences are for all the lying and meaness you have inflicted many of your flock with.

It`s not that hard.

Look at Wayne Vandersteeg

Look at Doyal Long

These men have both humbled themselves here lately and tried to make up for what they did that was wrong.

Anonymous said...

ace then be a good little fellow and donate to UNICEF- like FUMC they feed the hungry and support abortions. Also intresting that the man responsible said thid it was the wrong thing to do and now are in disagreement with a leader in the church.

Anonymous said...

And here comes more confusion 25k.

Why do you undermine Wayne Vandersteeg`s apology by preaching a sermon that supports giving to those in need on the very day he apologized?

Ofcourse we give to those in need but we not help ANTI_CHRIST churches to rebuild what has been destroyed.

Why do even pray deliver us from evil if we aid the evil that we pray for the Lord to deliver us from?

25k, WV can not fall on the sword unless we let him. His apology does not count for the others who were involved.

I know you were at the meeting but did you read what went on in the meeting?

All the way up to WV apology they were defending the donation and now we have the golden rule sermon.

Do they see what they are doing?

Anonymous said...

sheepherder I think Ace was at the meeting. I may be wrong but I think he was the young man with long hair that stood up in the back.

Tim said...

Did Wayne Vandersteeg authorize the check? Did he approve the check? Did he deliver the check?
It is my understanding that the answer is no in all cases. How can he take responsibility for actions that he did not take or apologize for what he did not do?

Anonymous said...

sheepherder,

ace then be a good little fellow and donate to UNICEF- like FUMC they feed the hungry and support abortions.

Now if I said something like this (with sarcasm), I would get this type of response and quoted a bazillion times:

I cannot believe you would suggest a thing. Thanks for admitting you support abortion. You are so liberal!

But I will be more kind with my response:
No thank you. Judging by your posts, I can tell you have not read all my posts and you have no idea about where I stand. Go read the Life Choices topic from last night around this time and you'll get a better understanding. Or even better yet, go back and read all my posts.

Anonymous said...

Tim, the Bible teaches that no man can apologize for another man, just like no one can be baptized for you or saved for you.

If we start believing that we can step in for others when it comes to things like this, then we might as well become Catholics and go confess our sins to the pastor and let him give us absolution.

Anonymous said...

Here are the facts.



A little over one year ago…



Bellevue Today (church bulletin) October 2, 2005



By statement of faith

If you have previously made a public decision acknowledging that you have received Christ as your Savior we will be happy to receive you. It will be necessary for you to be baptized at Bellevue if you have never been baptized by immersion after your public decision or if you were baptized in a church which holds a different view of salvation, baptism, or eternal security than Bellevue.



Today (this morning)…



Bellevue Today (church bulletin) November 26, 2006



By statement of faith

If you have previously made a public decision, acknowledging that you have received Christ as your Savior and Lord, we will be happy to receive you. It will be necessary for you to be baptized at Bellevue if you have never been baptized Scripturally (as a believer, by immersion, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as a symbol of your salvation).



Omission from 2005 Bellevue Today:

…or if you were baptized in a church which holds a different view of salvation, baptism, or eternal security than Bellevue.



With all due respect to Bro. Long, the statement has been changed. We used to say “if you were baptized in a church which holds a different view of salvation, baptism, or eternal security than Bellevue.” Simple, clear, and definitive. We now say “if you have been baptized Scripturally.” A person no longer needs to make a statement about eternal security as it relates to baptism. Let’s test a Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, or Assemblies of God candidate for church membership:

Have you been baptized Scripturally? Yes.

Was your baptism by immersion? Yes.

Was your baptism performed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Yes.

Was your baptism symbolic? Yes (for the Disciple of Christ and Assemblies of God candidate). What about you from the Church of Christ? Well, my church believes it is necessary for salvation, but I think it is symbolic.

Our former statement was clear- if you were baptized in a church which holds a different view of salvation, baptism, or eternal security than Bellevue.

My point is that our “alien immersion” will create hardships for Bellevue members who want to be appointed by the International Mission Board.

Anonymous said...

healingbalm,

Why do you undermine Wayne Vandersteeg`s apology by preaching a sermon that supports giving to those in need on the very day he apologized?

Do you honestly think that he preached that sermon because Wayne apologized today and because of this issue? I mean, come on, that doesn't seem like a sermon he put together in just one day. And these sermons are planned out weeks, if not months in advance. Nice try.

Ofcourse we give to those in need but we not help ANTI_CHRIST churches to rebuild what has been destroyed.

So FUMC is Anti-Christ? You might want to watch what you say....

Why do even pray deliver us from evil if we aid the evil that we pray for the Lord to deliver us from?

1) They are Anti-Christ....2) They are evil. Nice....

His apology does not count for the others who were involved.

People here were begging for an apology for the past week...you get one. Wait a sec...it doesn't count? Give me a break. Take a look at what you're saying.

Anonymous said...

to anyone:
I have not posted on this blog until now, but just a thought to consider; what if the pastor, after several more months of complaints, criticisms, and cries from the dissatisfied (for public apologies, repentance, and admissions of guilt), and if he still pleads innocent, along with most the leadership, but decides he doesn't want to deal with it anymore, and resigns.

what then? I don't know if he should resign or not...but if some get their desire, where will that leave us? If we are fractured now, what will be then? Does it register with anyone, that if he stays or goes, we are still going have a mess? An no, I am not one with their head in the sand blindly looking the other way. But if he should leave, there's still going to be an awful lot of people unhappy

Anonymous said...

healingbalm,

I may be wrong but I think he was the young man with long hair that stood up in the back.

Are you trying to be funny or something? This just shows what's going on in your mind. Judging people by their looks, eh? You should know better than that.

Tim said...

healingbalm,

So what difference does it make what Wayne Vandersteeg said unless he had something to do with it, which no one will confirm or deny who does or who does not.

Another job well done by the mis-coummunication committee. With garbage like this no one will ever get to the truth of anything. Almost seems like a plan doesn't it.

dewaynehartsoe said...

Tim said...
sheepherder,

Before you spend a lot of time doing that let me help you out.

Ace said....
......
......
Nothing. Talked a lot, but said absolutely nothing. Pretty much like a wanna be pastor that I know.

Amen Amen and Amen

Anonymous said...

Tim,

Ace said....
......
......
Nothing. Talked a lot, but said absolutely nothing. Pretty much like a wanna be pastor that I know.


Can't handle what I have to say, eh? You disagree with me so you chose to ignore me. Very nice, Tim....very nice. This just proves to everyone that you care only about one side of this issue...the negative side...the anti-Gaines side.

Take a look at what you're saying....you really have no desire to hear what people have to say in disagreement with your views. How pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Tim,

Another job well done by the mis-coummunication committee. With garbage like this no one will ever get to the truth of anything. Almost seems like a plan doesn't it.

And how do you know this? Were you at the CC meeting today? No. You are in no position to talk about today's meeting because you weren't there to witness it for yourself.

Tim said...

joe mason,

The fact is we are not looking for happy or unhappy people. What were are searching for is Holy people. The circumstance or happenstance is what makes people happy according to what is going on around them. Holiness is according to what is going on within and it is quite evident that our leadership has a severe lack of it. Holiness tells the truth. The whole truth. It doesn't war against scripture. What's more is it doesn't twist it to try and make what has been done seem right. The word for that action is called sinfulness.

New BBC Open Forum said...

ace wrote:

I may be wrong but I think he was the young man with long hair that stood up in the back.

"Are you trying to be funny or something? This just shows what's going on in your mind. Judging people by their looks, eh? You should know better than that."

Um, ace? I think what HB was asking was if you were the young man standing at the back of the room. The young man did have long hair, but I don't think HB meant the guy's hair was standing up, although it sort of did now that I think about it -- it kind of flipped, nor did it sound like he was trying to be funny. (If he was, I missed something.) Actually, I pegged the same guy for you, but then someone told me she talked with him afterwards and that he told her his name and said he doesn't know anything about computers.

NASS

Anonymous said...

I wasn`t trying to offend Ace about his long hair, I was just trying to give you a description of him in case you were there this morning.

Anonymous said...

Healingbalm,

Tim, if you care to spend your time, please explain to Ace how wrong it is to take my words and change them to mean what he wants them to mean so he can be mean to me.

Why can't you defend your own statements? Why must you call on Tim for help? I'd like a response to my post from you, not Tim.

I have not changed your words. I quoted exactly what you posted and everything was in it's original context.

I am not being mean to you at all....I look forward to your response.

Anonymous said...

NBBCOF,

Actually, I pegged the same guy for you, but then someone told me she talked with him afterwards and that he told her his name and said he doesn't know anything about computers.

At least I am on your minds while you are at the meeting...that makes me feel good. ;)

New BBC Open Forum said...

Guys,

Please tone it down. Remember everybody's comments have little trash cans below them on my screen.

NBBCOF

Anonymous said...

Healingbalm,

I wasn`t trying to offend Ace about his long hair, I was just trying to give you a description of him in case you were there this morning.

Then thank you for your description...I'm sure everyone here is very thankful for your post.

Anonymous said...

1)Has the budget been approved for Bellevue for the 2007 year? I thought this was done around the end of each year. I could be wrong, but that might be the next business meeting.

2)If the cc cannot satisfy the questions/issues that people have, does Bellevue need to have a reconciliation meeting lead by an independent specialist?

3)I do not believe that Wayne VanderSteeg would apologize for the decision to o.k. the funds to FUMC unless he had some responsibility for that.

New BBC Open Forum said...

ace,

I thought you had said you were going to be there this morning. So some of us did understandably think the young man might have been you. Honest mistake. Nothing more.

NASS

Anonymous said...

NBBCOF,

So some of us did understandably think the young man might have been you. Honest mistake. Nothing more.

Yes, I understand. I don't mind being mis-identified, it's not a problem at all. It's just the way that healingbalm wrote that post... like there's something wrong with long hair... he/she knows exactly what his/her intentions were when writing that message...

Anonymous said...

Tim

I agree; holiness is what we strive for; it is displayed in our life by cognitive choice, as we yield ourselves to the rule and reign of Christ in our lives, and die to self; the scripture is the revelation of Christ to us as well as the communication of GOD to us.

But my ammended question is, where would we go from there(resignation) , if we are unsure where we go from here? Because if they (leadership, pastor included) have been untruthful in all of the matters that are mentioned here, then the indiscretions would seem to require more than a simple 'my bad'

jm

Anonymous said...

I really think I am ready to leave Bellevue. I never thought I would say this but it`s getting too hard to be part of a church that hides and hurts the sheep.

Anonymous said...

Healingbalm,

I really think I am ready to leave Bellevue. I never thought I would say this but it`s getting too hard to be part of a church that hides and hurts the sheep.

I will tell you the same thing I told a close friend of mine. If you don't feel worshipful in the services, then go out and find a church where you can worship without any distractions, problems, other things on your mind.

I am not telling you to leave, I'm just telling you if that's what you have to do, then just...do it. It's not about a specific church, anyways, it's all about Jesus, right?

Anonymous said...

Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
1 Corinthians 11:14

Interesting verse...

Anonymous said...

25years,

I can't tell if you're serious or not. I would think you are joking but based on some people's posts on these forums nothing seems to be a joke no matter how ridiculous is sounds.

If you're not joking, then shame on that young man. While we're kicking Gaines out of the church, we should kick him out too. Do I hear a second? (note: sarcasm)

If you're joking, then...haha. :)

dewaynehartsoe said...

Joe Mason said...

But my ammended question is, where would we go from there(resignation) , if we are unsure where we go from here? Because if they (leadership, pastor included) have been untruthful in all of the matters that are mentioned here, then the indiscretions would seem to require more than a simple 'my bad'

Joe,

I don't know where that would leave us, but the only thing we need to be concerned about is doing what God would want us to do and that is to stand for truth. If we keep our hearts clean before God, we can trust Him to meet our needs no matter how hopeless it may seem.

Anonymous said...

Ace, I think you have really helped me to see that the time has come for me to leave the church.

I really appreciate your support in my leaving Bellevue.

Anonymous said...

Hair I go off to bed....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!

Anonymous said...

healingbalm,

Ace, I think you have really helped me to see that the time has come for me to leave the church.

I really appreciate your support in my leaving Bellevue.


Look at what I said: "I am not telling you to leave..." - I am saying if this whole issue around the church is upsetting you and effecting your worship experience than you need to find a church where you can worship freely without distractions. To give focus to Jesus and nothing/no-one else.

Am I right or wrong with that statement?

dewaynehartsoe said...

Healingbalm

I can't say that I blame you but I do believe that you are playing right into their hands.

Some would like it if we would all leave, then they could do as they wanted all along.

Tim said...

healingbalm,

I hope that you reconsider. We do have a lot Ace's in the church (sounds kind of like a dirty card game doesn't it) of course these deacons that are doing this stuff are in for a very rude awakening. There will be a day of reckoning.

Anonymous said...

As usual Ace, you are right on the money.

Thank you for helping me to let go of Bellevue Baptist Church.

Anonymous said...

You are being overly dramatic, healingbalm....

Anonymous said...

nhisname:

I don't know if I would describe things as hopeless, not saying that you have...I'm more confused than anything.

All the stuff flying around, about highly visible people, and yet on the surface, everything seems normal...it's business as usual, I think that most people are willing to dismiss most everything because of that. I don't know a lot of people, but the few that I have mentioned things to either say 'I don't know' or 'it no big deal'. I have went back and read some of things that have been posted, and it doesn't look like 'it's no big deal', but really serious...but everything coming out of the cc and other church info have an answer and/or explantion. some facts would suggest not so, others seem reasonable. just left with a lot of doubts

jm

Anonymous said...

Tim said...
joe mason,

The fact is we are not looking for happy or unhappy people. What were are searching for is Holy people. The circumstance or happenstance is what makes people happy according to what is going on around them. Holiness is according to what is going on within and it is quite evident that our leadership has a severe lack of it. Holiness tells the truth. The whole truth. It doesn't war against scripture. What's more is it doesn't twist it to try and make what has been done seem right. The word for that action is called sinfulness.


Wow. I'm very impressed... oh, wait a minute.

By "our leadership," you were referring to the so-called "saving Bellevue" nucleus, right?

I'll hold off on congratulating you for the directness of your comment until I make sure.

--Mike

Anonymous said...

HealingBalm said...
As usual Ace, you are right on the money.

Thank you for helping me to let go of Bellevue Baptist Church.


If your convictions sway that easily, whoever you are, beware of a stiff breeze.

The idea for those of us who are Christians is to stay where God wants us to stay, and go where God wants us to go.

Period.

--Mike

Anonymous said...

Good Night sweet Ace and thank you for all your tender loving care.

One day I will look back on my days at Bellevue and remember how you came to my spiritual rescue.

Tim said...

joe mason,

I had heard the same thing. That it was no big deal. The biggest thing that is being spread around to the general population is that it is all about style and the music.

The answers that I heard were just too canned and I started looking around and investigating a little. It is very surprising at how easily you can get information directly from the source. The thing that has been so difficult is knowing who to trust. Having been at Bellevue for over 20 years I had a select group of people that I really trusted and some of them put me in contact with some of the name people to talk to.

Another thing that has helped me tremendously is that I know a great number of the deacons. I know how many of them have behaved in the past and I can see how they have allowed themselves to get overly puffed up.

Anonymous said...

Some of the congregation has awakened to the reality that our church is elder ruled by a close knit group of men who manage to be appointed to key positions year after year. The congregation needs to be awakened to this. I agree with Bin Wonderin:

We need:

1. An apology to the congregation for mocking us at Union City. After all, some of us didn't fall off the cabbage truck yesterday!

2. An admission the cheerleader tickets are not a legit moving expense and reimbursement to BBC.

3. An admission Dr. Gaines should have never given $25k to FUMC and an explanation of policy changes to prevent a repeat.

4. A policy for open books on Holy land trips and no overcharging of members. Free tickets for the host and wife are fine but not for anybody else

5. A quarterly business meeting with open mike Q&A with each committee chairman. Transcripts on the web within a week

**The current bylaws mention "monthly" business meetings! When were they changed??

6. A transparent committee selection process.

7. A good updated set of bylaws similar to GBC.

8. The signing of a public conflict of interest form for any member that has any business contract to provide services to the church. These people should be recused from committees that review bids for their services.

9. No church credit cards. Pay your own way and then turn in an expense report like I do at my job.

AND I would like to add...

10. A business meeting in accord with Matthew 18 to deal with the issues that remain related to Mark Sharpe and "the Dream"... AND any other loose ends that should have been dealt with months ago!!

11. The END of heavy handed dealing with ministers, staff, and members.

12. A whistle blower policy for ministers, staff, and members. Also:

13. Full disclosure of ministerial compensation: salary + benefit breakdown, etc.

14. Much greater congregational oversight of the current budget with a transparent policy for consideration of non-budgeted expenditures exceeding a reasonable amount.

15. Forgiveness for those in leadership who have allowed this to deteriorate to this point--AND consequences for their actions.

16. Building prayer buildings or any other type of building should be brought through proper channels to the congregation for prayerful consideration--not coerced "rubber stamping."

By the way, Dr. Rogers taught us quite a bit about prayer. As a matter of fact, I believe all of the current buildings ARE prayer buildings already. He and Dr. Whitmire also taught us quite a bit about worship also... but that's another topic.

17. Bellevue needs to reject Warrenism fully and finally.

18. Congregational nomination of and election of all of the Board of Directors as called for in the 1929 bylaws.

All in my opinion as usual.

Revival, reform, congregational oversight... for there is level ground at Calvary and "he who would be great among you shall be the servant of all."

Anonymous said...

Mike, I saw you post just as I was leaving.

I have read most of your posts on this blog and visited yours as well and somehow your words have really sunk in.

I don`t think we have ever met in person, but I am not sure.

I just want to also thank you for teaching me that it times to move on.

I really can`t say if I know what God wants for me because I guess I am not as close to him as you are but I think you and Ace and HisServant had helped me to see that I am just never going to be accepted for who I am at Bellevue and there really is no need for me to just hang on.

Tim said...

healingbalm,

I appreciate your remarks. I know how hard it is to leave something that you have loved. I also know how hard it is to look at this church and wonder what on earth happened. If you are final in your decision then I certainly understand it. It is extremely difficult to be here at this time.

Anonymous said...

tim,

Not a 20 year man by any stretch, so contacts that indepth are not an option; I've never been at a church so large, and over the years you get used to expecting what you hear from leadership to be truthful; but I also know that there is a price to pay if the truth is questioned; it just seems there are a lot of 'versions' floating around

Anonymous said...

Please forgive my spelling - I'm going stream of conscienceness...

It grieves my heart. The meeting this morning was a huge waste of time. We sat as a group but we were still not together on our questions and approach. We could have made so much moore progress toward building trust and good will, educating our panel, getting better answers and putting them on notice that we are serious, motivated and prepared.

I must say thank you Mr. Vander Steeg. I believe and recieve your words of remorse and regret. You are forgiven.

I encourage all of Steve's staff and lay leadership to be a subordinate of peer quality to him. Please don't just go along with what he suggests or wants to do. You know that is not the best approach and will utimately hurt him and the rest of us. He needs you to be who God has made you to be. Bring your best to the table and don't be a bobble head. I really don't mean to be offensive or ugly. We have all seen the weak players around a leader - we all know they exist - don't be one is all I'm saying.

In truth, I saw "flesh" on both sides this morning. I understand the frustration but we have to move from snippy comments to focused and relentless direct questions that need to be answered. We may need to help them too. I didn't see a single person on the committee write anything down. If they are going to get answers as promised they must have better memories than I do.

Those who have questions need to meet prior to Sunday morning to write out our prioritized questions and select the best person to pose each question. We all need to be there for the Q&A but we need to approach this in a more organized fashion to get the most out of our time with them.

We need to recognize that if they do not feel it is a productive time - they will stop being available as they are now.

We need to help them understand, we need to guide them. We need to follow up mid-week with a friendly reminder that we are interested in the answer they are researching for us and we need to express our gratitude everytime they make a move in the right direction - even if there is attitude that accompanies the answers.

If the answers we are given are in conflict with what we know then we must confirm our understanding and then bring them up to speed. Our questions and information that we give them must also lead them to see the error and gravity of what is going on.

I know many are predisposed to what they think is the truth - but that is the case on both sides. All I'm saying is that we all need to be open to being corrected and being wrong.

We must take the high road on this. If we show up and are disrepectful, murmering, talk over them and show no sign of being wrong they will not continue to meet with us. Don't we feel the same way. Don't we feel like it is a waste of time if they don't listen and respond. Of course, they likely feel the same way about those with questions.

Another consideration for us all...if they did stop the meetings, what would we do? Perhaps we need to be doing that right now. We must advance on multiple fronts if possible - not be fragmented but diversafied.

We need to get better at making our case. We must be very educated in the particulars of our concern. We must have first hand knowledge or have spoken with the witness to the offense. Our questions need to be well founded, based on scripture and conviction and the offense or concern well laid out in a way that anyone could understand.

Statements like - "I don't think we should" are fine but a better one is "scripture clearly states that". We can have emotion and feeling but we must be well thought out in our presentation. We must work together to do a better job.

We need to ask questions that can be answered.

Let's do some research on the people that are on the committee. We need to know who we're talking to, what they've been and are involved in and how broad their knowledge and influence. And more.

Tim has done a good job of summarizing some of the concerns. We need to work on keeping it up to date. And part of the summary is the background, evidence, quotes, proof, examples, etc... We must make our position easy to communicate and understand.

This morning, Harry said the credit card issues had been put to rest. I heard grumblings of "no it hasn't" but no one spoke up and challenged him and set him straight or let him explain his position. So at odds we remain on that issue.

Discuss and respond...is anyone interested in getting together to try to get better organized?

Frankly, I'm tired. If we are to be effective we must individually confirm that we are called to this task and then work together. Let's remain submissive to the Holy Spirit. God doesn't need a multitude just availability. Be holy, be pure, be gentle, be strong, be meek, be faithful, be generous, be kind, be loving, be submitted, be open, be humble, be quiet, be bold, be confident, be wise, be like Him.

I love you each.

Andrew

Tim said...

I suppose that it is another proud day for those that make the choice that they would rather recruit new sheep.
Isn't this the same group that thought that the golden rule sermon was so wonderful and what did they exactly learn from the sermon. I think they learned what was preached, which was "Whatever I do is ok, because I'm the pastor and I know better than you and that my friends is the golden rule".

Anonymous said...

Just an observation- 'small fish in a big pond'

I don't know how many people have left (or are leaving), but it must be more than than the one who just said they are going.

How many until it shows up on the 'radar'?

New BBC Open Forum said...

mike bratton said:

"If your convictions sway that easily, whoever you are, beware of a stiff breeze.

"The idea for those of us who are Christians is to stay where God wants us to stay, and go where God wants us to go.

"Period."


Wow. I agree wholeheartedly with something Mike Bratton said. {NASS faints}

Anonymous said...

Tim,

Were you at church tonight?

Tim said...

joe mason,

One is one too many.

Just curious to know if you had heard references to style and music as being the root cause of everything.

Anonymous said...

HealingBalm said...
Mike, I saw you post just as I was leaving.

I have read most of your posts on this blog and visited yours as well and somehow your words have really sunk in.

I don`t think we have ever met in person, but I am not sure.

I just want to also thank you for teaching me that it times to move on.

I really can`t say if I know what God wants for me because I guess I am not as close to him as you are but I think you and Ace and HisServant had helped me to see that I am just never going to be accepted for who I am at Bellevue and there really is no need for me to just hang on.


Seeing words and dealing with what they mean are two completely different things.

Again, if you're so easily swayed, take great care in how you live your life. Let me repeat myself, thusly and like so: Those of us who are Christians must stay where God wants us to stay, and go where God wants us to go.

Even the notion of "hanging on" makes very little sense. Perhaps you've been around Bellevue long enough to have heard Pastor Rogers preach on abiding in Christ by using the analogy of Noah resting inside the Ark (which he did) versus Noah "hanging on" to two pegs on the outside of the Ark (which he did not do).

If you're hanging on, cut it out, and try abiding instead.

--Mike

Tim said...

NASS,

I agree too and right now God wants me to go to bed.

Night all. Tomorrow is a new day, with lots of new and wonderful adventures.

Anonymous said...

Tim,

I have heard the comment that problems have arisen because of 'changes'...in both style and staff...have also heard the phrase 'just growing pains'.

Didn't know growing was so painful.

Memphismom02 said...

One thing that struck me about the meeting this morning: Room Arrangement. The Committee had their row two-thirds of the way into the room. That left precious little space to get in any chairs. Those of us who couldn't arrive first thing were left standing. Then when there was no more standing room, the later arrivals couldn't get into the room at all. I think that was part of the strategy to do "crowd control". One man came in with a microphone from behind the committee, but that never got set up. That would have been helpful for those attending to hear the questions and the answers.

The Committee is not playing fair to fob off sincere questions with answers like, "We already answered that last week." One elderly man asked a question that was never answered, and the MC just went on to the next person with their hand up. They might as well get used to answering some of the same concerns, as different members (and MORE and MORE members) will have some of the same questions, and they have been told to bring these questions before the Committee. We can also do without the Committee's personal cheerleaders at the back of the room voicing their opinions. If they want to answer the members' questions, then THEY need to get themselves voted onto the Committee.

Anonymous said...

25+yrs.@BBC said,

"Some of the congregation has awakened to the reality that our church is elder ruled by a close knit group of men who manage to be appointed to key positions year after year."

Most congregations from the smallest up to the mega-church are run by "a close-knit group of men who manage to be appointed to key positions year after year."

Right or wrong, this is usually the way it has worked in the congregations I have been a part of.

You may have surfaced as the key leader for a "reforming revolution," though. Only time will tell.....

Anonymous said...

yeah,

I'm thinking about 'abiding' in my bed

later

Anonymous said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
mike bratton said:

"If your convictions sway that easily, whoever you are, beware of a stiff breeze.

"The idea for those of us who are Christians is to stay where God wants us to stay, and go where God wants us to go.

"Period."

Wow. I agree wholeheartedly with something Mike Bratton said. {NASS faints}


{Mike Bratton debates the wisdom of dumping a pitcher of water on Nass' head, but thinks better of it and breaks out the smelling salts instead.}

--Mike

Anonymous said...

I never felt so hated until I ran after Jesus and tried to do the things he taught.

The more I have tried to really "do what Jesus would do" the less friends I end up with.

Now the pastor is against me. the leaders of the church are against me, most of the deacons are against me, and the majority of the members are against me and fellow bloggers, for what I believe even though what I believe is what Jesus teaches me to believe.

When I leave Bellevue, I really doubt that I will even look for another church.

I know that`s wrong but the majority of the church believes that what I think is wrong is right and what I think is wrong is what Jesus teaches is wrong. So here I am following Jesus, nbut finding myself being wrong according to fellow church members.

To stay at Bellevue and have peace would mean that I would have to deliberately choose to be wrong and say it`s right and then I could be in good graces with my pastor again and the leadership and the majority of the members and whose knows maybe I could be friends with Ace and Mike Bratton and HisServant, and anyone else who has tried to show me how evil I am for my beliefs.

Does anyone else feel this way or have I turned into the evil person that some of you say I am.

I don`t have a pastor who cares about me personally. I mean he doesn`t even know me so how can he care for me or know my needs or minister to me except through his sermons?

The church doesn`t feel like a safe harbor for me anymore so I can`t go there to talk to anyone.

Everyone who seems to believe as I do, I mean those who really want the church to have truth dripping from the pulpit to the choir to the baseball fields, are here in a place where I can`t even know who they are.

I am really lonely in my stand for integrity and truth except for nameless, faceless, members of my church who come here to write down their thoughts.

I give up.

Anonymous said...

Tonight it seems... "I like Mike"... Nice reminder of the ark sermon. Good memories...

Anonymous said...

HealingBalm,

I understand how you feel. Run to Jesus. Tell him what's going on and feed on his word.

Please don't give up on God. I understand how you feel about BBC - I feel the same as you.

NASS has my email address if you want to jot me a note.

Andrew

Anonymous said...

healingbalm...

My mom once gave me some excellent advice... "Never make big decisions when you are tired." Get some rest. Pray. Ask the Lord to give you a fellow brother or sister to sharpen you. WHen ELijah thought he was alone, then God told him that he'd kept 7000 faithful to him unknown to Elijah. Pray that God will send a few of those kind alongside you.

Anonymous said...

Healingbalm,

and whose knows maybe I could be friends with Ace and Mike Bratton and HisServant, and anyone else who has tried to show me how evil I am for my beliefs.

I have never called you evil or have said what you believe is evil. If I'm not mistaken, wasn't it you who was calling something evil an hour or two ago? And I mean that in no disrespect at all. It was something we talked about a little while ago but it seems like you never got back to my post about it... I would like to hear you clarify what you mean. I will not attack you, as I never have done that to anyone. I'm just curious to see how I misinterpreted your message.

Does anyone else feel this way or have I turned into the evil person that some of you say I am.

Again - I do not think you are evil.

Anonymous said...

Healingbalm... you still out there? If so, NBBCOF has my email if you would like to talk further.

Anonymous said...

I feel like a bleeding sheep that has been told to go lie in a ditch and bleed to death. Your too much trouble, your make too much noise, we don`t care if your hurting just get out of my pasture and bleed out.

Good Night one and all and thank you for even listening to me.

Feel free to rip me up somemore while I am sleeping.

Anonymous said...

HealingBalm said...
I never felt so hated until I ran after Jesus and tried to do the things he taught.


A word of advice...

You know the folks who talk up WWJD, "What Would Jesus Do"? I wish they'd give it a rest, or at least think about what they're saying.

Sometimes, it's a challenge to know precisely what Jesus would do in a situation. But keep in mind that what Jesus did, in many cases, He did so we would not have to do what He did.

Even when we are to follow His example, we cannot expect to do so in our own strength. If God really wants you to do something, He will equip you to do it.

The more I have tried to really "do what Jesus would do" the less friends I end up with.

That's looking at the here-and-now, rather than down the road. There were times when Jesus Himself had no friends around him, but those times were temporary.

Now the pastor is against me. the leaders of the church are against me, most of the deacons are against me, and the majority of the members are against me and fellow bloggers,

Nonsense, and this is what I hate about this whole situation.

Disagreeing doesn't mean someone is "against you"--it means that someone disagrees. Or at least that's all it should mean.

For example, am I "against you"? Not for a nanosecond. The fact that I disagree with you should help you understand that I care about you; if I didn't care about you, I wouldn't care enough to engage you in discussion or debate.

for what I believe even though what I believe is what Jesus teaches me to believe.

And what do you believe, exactly?

When I leave Bellevue, I really doubt that I will even look for another church.

Refusing to be affiliated with any local church at all is most definitely not something Jesus teaches.

I know that`s wrong

Then since you're wanting to follow Jesus' example, why would you have that mindset?

but the majority of the church believes that what I think is wrong is right and what I think is wrong is what Jesus teaches is wrong. So here I am following Jesus, nbut finding myself being wrong according to fellow church members.

No.

You find yourself in a disagreement. They've been a part of church life since... well, since there was a church.

To stay at Bellevue and have peace would mean that I would have to deliberately choose to be wrong and say it`s right

Because there's just no middle ground?

and then I could be in good graces with my pastor again and the leadership and the majority of the members

Speaking from experience, I doubt seriously that you're out of anybody's good graces.

and whose knows maybe I could be friends with Ace and Mike Bratton and HisServant, and anyone else who has tried to show me how evil I am for my beliefs.

I don't know where that came from, but I'm inclined to think that even you know such a statement isn't true. Have I called you, or anyone else who shares your point of view, "evil"?

No.

But a number of people who share your beliefs have said such things, and worse, to people who don't agree with your position.

What do you think about that?

Does anyone else feel this way or have I turned into the evil person that some of you say I am.

Surely you understand that no one considers you to be an evil person.

I don`t have a pastor who cares about me personally. I mean he doesn`t even know me so how can he care for me or know my needs or minister to me except through his sermons?

That's why Bellevue has a great big pastoral staff, and why Pastor Gaines is technically the "senior pastor" among many. If you want to have someone minister to you, let someone know how you need to be ministered to.

As the old song says, "No one can fill those of your needs/That you don't let show".

The church doesn`t feel like a safe harbor for me anymore so I can`t go there to talk to anyone.

Yes. You can.

If you like, you can even talk to me.

Everyone who seems to believe as I do, I mean those who really want the church to have truth dripping from the pulpit to the choir to the baseball fields, are here in a place where I can`t even know who they are.

Well, you know who I am, right?

You could know the identities of everyone here, and we could know yours. It's not difficult.

If you need to talk, I'm an e-mail away.

I am really lonely in my stand for integrity and truth except for nameless, faceless, members of my church who come here to write down their thoughts.

I don't want to sound trite, but there's a difference between being lonely and being alone. As Christians, "lonely" is something we can handle, because in Christ, we're never alone.

I give up.

I don't think that's an option.

Again, send me an e-mail if you'd like to talk.

--Mike

allofgrace said...

healingbalm,
I can tell you from experience that God sometimes calls us to some difficult places. We can't always see His reasons or understand them. He's not required to answer to us. But He is all-wise and knows what's best for us. God is no doubt working out a multitude of things in all this. Each of us has to stay put unless God has made clear we are to move. It's God who forms the local body, and we know from scripture that each member of that body serves His purpose within it...even though it may seem that your part is insignificant..but there are no insignificant parts from where God sits. He has his reasons. I understand how it can feel that you stand alone...sometimes we do stand alone..whether it's in our homes, our workplaces, our neighborhoods, or even our churches...but we are never really alone..God has promised never to leave us or forsake us...Jesus said "...and lo I am with you, even to the end of the age." "If God be for us, who can be against us." Think on these things. Blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

Good advice. Did God call us to Bellevue? If so, then it should be Him who calls us to leave. I remember Dr. Rogers saying that times of testing reveal our character. Yes, it is very difficult to attend right now, but maybe the Lord is using a difficult time to build character and resolve to make our church better. Time and truth walk hand in hand, so when people ask me if I'm bailing I tell them mt two part plan- to pray and stay. Bellevue is my church.

Anonymous said...

healingbalm,

Please be encouraged that your church loves you. No one who supports our pastor has ever told you that he doesn't love you, nor have they ever said that the church doesn't love you. The idea that Bro. Steve is beating you up, stonewalling you, manipulating you, etc., has never come from a church member who supports him. You are a loved and valued member of the body of Christ. What is happening at our church grieves us all.

MOM4 said...

The thing that amazes me most, is that the leadership would rather us leave than ask questions. I guess they have the money to make up for our pittance tithes/offerings and I am sure they will take up their spots working in childcare, or maybe they can hire it done. It seems that we already have hirelings in place at BBC???
This is such a sham, it makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a word about the CC meeting last night with the choir and orchestra?

Dot said...

Anyone find it interesting that SG uses his sermons to defend his actions?

Anonymous said...

Why does John Caldwell refuse to apologize to Mark Sharpe for climbing the fence and tresspassing into his neighbourhood?

Why will the CC not answer this question?

Where is John Caldwell at when we need to hear from him?

This man's pride is standing in the way and John Caldwell should not be allowed to hold any leadership positions until he comes clean.


Some of the ladies did not have a chair and had to stand up today. Can we have more chairs in the room next Sunday?

What happen to all the chair from last Sunday's meeting?

We do not want the group to seperate into smaller groups. We want to hear everyones questions.

It was asked many times, "when is the next business meeting?" Harry never told us.

Anonymous said...

Let's pound it in until we get the answer.

WHEN IS THE NEXT BUSINESS MEETING??

Remember the question as, how did you get on the CC. Harry then said the deacons voted on them.

Then it was asked, well who nominated them for the Deacon to vote on? No one responded from the CC.

Very interesting.

I see what we are dealing with.

Someone call the Church and ask when the next business meeting is and please post it on the blog.

Custos said...

Sensing some discouragement out there folks.

Healingbalm,

I don't know how long you've been saved or if you've ever gone through this before. I've been through it before, but was very young and so I only remember small parts of the controversy. We stood for what was right, got kicked in the teeth by friends, ministers, and deacons. We were preached at directly. We were ostracized. But we stood until we could stand no longer--until it was clear that things would not change. We've not hit that point at BBC yet. Hold strong! God told Saul, "Had you waited just a little longer, I'd have established your kingdom forever." We must hold on! It took years for the situation I referred to to resolve. Let us pray this resolves much sooner.

Corny as this is (and I'll probably catch flak for it from people w/o English backgrounds), there's a very appropriate quote from the Two Towers:

Sam: It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you… that meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going… because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world [or church], Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

Healingbalm, we must hold on. God is moving. He's cleaning house. He's showing us who's who. Two years ago we'd have known none of this. It's only just now leaking to the broader public. Take courage if you can. Be strong. We fight today, and we fight tomorrow. This will pass, and the sun will shine out the brighter. Count it all gain Brethren to suffer for Christ!

To everyone else:

We mustn't be discouraged. Yesterday was another day of the runaround. We should all be expecting this. They've denied and denied. No reason to think things will be different because of a couple of meetings.

Andrew is right: coordination is key. The questions need to be hammered out ahead of time. Seating needs to be fixed ahead of time (no more of the committee sitting halfway into the room), and follow-ups need to be ready.

Finally, while this has been a long post, I’m going to add just a bit more. It's time for a quote that remind us of the will to fight. One man could do this better than any I can think of:

"Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." --Winston Churchill

PS I here in now way imply that we are dealing with Nazis.

MOM4 said...

Perhaps if we ask for more chairs and if they do not provide them, we will just have to move the ones there to the very front ourselves where we will be right under their noses - eye to eye so to speak..and the rest of us will be in there in the standing room only space.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me, and if so feel free to let me know, but is it at all possible that references to "suffering" and "fighting" and "eye to eye" and "let's pound it in" aren't the most appropriate ways to refer to a church disagreement?

I'm just asking.

--Mike

New BBC Open Forum said...

Some people need to get there early next time and take control of the seating. There's no reason why everyone had to be crammed together like we were yesterday and why it was SRO for the latecomers when over half the room was empty. I think the "setup" in the seating arrangement spoke volumes about their tactics. Maybe someone would be so kind as to provide the committee members with pens and paper so they can take notes, too.

NASS

New BBC Open Forum said...

mike bratton wrote:

"Maybe it's just me... "

Maybe it is. (That was sarcasm or satire, I forget which.)

NASS

Anonymous said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
mike bratton wrote:

"Maybe it's just me... "

Maybe it is. (That was sarcasm or satire, I forget which.)

NASS


I think it was inhaling too deeply on the ol' smelling salts.

(That was a "joke," highlighted by the presence of the technical joke term ol'.)

--Mike

Just My Opinion said...

Mike Bratton wrote: Maybe it's just me, and if so feel free to let me know, but is it at all possible that references to "suffering" and "fighting" and "eye to eye" and "let's pound it in" aren't the most appropriate ways to refer to a church disagreement?

I'm just asking.

--Mike


Maybe it's just me, but is it at all possible that a reference of "anti-Bellevue" isn't the most appropiate way to refer to a church disagreement?

I'm just asking.

Mike, I agree that the references you've mention are not appropriate but neither has been some of your references. I think that everyone should address their concerns/issues just as that and nothing more. We need to limit name calling and gossiping. People need to simple state a concern and allow the answers to provide the direction for further questioning or acceptance.

Karen said...

NASS and Mike Bratton,

I know both of you and the vision I get in my head of the two of you bickering in person is really comical!

Just thought I'd share that before my next post. :)

Karen

Anonymous said...

As someone new to blogging, I have not commented on anything before, I have only been reading the comments left by others. I have been at BBC for alittle over 5 years now and have enjoyed every year.

I am bothered by the mean spiritedness of these blogs. This seems more like a chat room than a blog as I understand a blog to work. It appears to me that the main purpose of many on here is to be right and everyone else be wrong. I agree we should discuss the issues, but the making fun of people and sarcasm that is so apparent in many of the replies is unbelievable. That is something that would make me want to leave BBC, the way people are treating each other under the secrecy of a screenname.
I also do not hear the same complaints from the groups I am in contact with at the church. I am only hearing the complaints from the saem 6 or 7 people on this blog. I also am not hearing any actionable ideas form this blog, so I would like to offer one.

If you have actions that you would like to see put in place, has anyone thought about starting a petition to present? If you get a majority of the church agreeing to something, then it has to be dealt with. I honestly believe that you would have problems getting enough signatures, but it sure would be interesting to see how many have the issues as the ones on here.

choice_is_yours said...

Father in Heaven,

Thank you for Mondays. Even the day of the week I love the least is still a day that I know I will be in Heaven with you someday.

In Jesus's name I pray,
AMEN.

Today's Bible text:

Luke 5:12-16 (King James Version)

12And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

13And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.

14And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

15But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.

16And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.




If you will click on my profile you will see the "Good News" blog. You can go there for an archive of past texts as we go through Luke. You can also find out how to go to Heaven and make sure you know the truth about that. You can also find out all of the things that Bellevue stands for.

Anonymous said...

FenceJumper said...
Let's pound it in until we get the answer.

WHEN IS THE NEXT BUSINESS MEETING??

Remember the question as, how did you get on the CC. Harry then said the deacons voted on them.

Then it was asked, well who nominated them for the Deacon to vote on? No one responded from the CC.


FenceJumper,

I agree with your post and also ask when will John Caldwell apologize to Mark Sharpe for jumping his fence?

It seems to me we have let him "off the hook."

Is this the man that interviews prospective deacons? Someone needs to interview John Caldwell.

Karen said...

To anyone who wishes to answer:

I've done some serious searching in my heart since yesterday's choir meeting at 5 pm and I need to find the answers to the following:

If we are bond servants to Jesus because we are Christians, does this mean we have no "rights"? This concept eludes me - If we are bond servants, i.e., slaves and thereby have no rights, does this mean we are to do any and all things that a person who is in authority (pastor, SS teacher, parent, whoever) over us without question, regardless of the task we are asked to do? Does that also mean that we as bond servants, ie., slaves to Jesus are not to question anything a pastor, SS teacher, whomever does even though we feel the Holy Spirit is speaking to us to speak out against the pastor or whomever?

I am asking for personal reassurance that what I am doing on this blog is not sin. I don't feel I am being convicted by God to stop; on the contrary - I feel God led me to begin blogging in order to bring Truth to light.

I really feel that God spoke to me about the $25K donation yesterday - to be able to put that aside when Mr. Vandersteeg apologized yesterday (I feel God put him in my path last night as well - I was able to personally thank him for his apology) and I feel a great peace about that situation.

Another issue was brought up at the choir meeting last night: Does restoration, reconcilliation, forgiveness or whatever need to begin "at the top" of the leadership of Bellevue? I feel I can put other "hurts" to rest if I know that for example the Whitmire's have been reconcilled. Since I know them personally, I'm sure I will find out when that happens, but wouldn't it be better to have that brought to the entire congregation so more people at once can hear that that happened (I'm not saying it has happenend yet, but it was indicated last night that it was in the works). I guess what I'm saying is why can't Steve Gaines as our leader stand in the pulpit and say, with true humility and contrition that "I'm sorry for whatever hurts I've contributed to the rift in this church; forgive me"? What's so wrong with that? Why is that such a hard thing? I think that would go a long way in restoring the church to order.

PLEASE - if all you're responses to me are going to be in the "what a sinner you are for even questionning our pastor, Karen" vein, then I don't want you to post it on the blog. I am a sister who is really struggling with these issues and I don't need to be torn apart by people who have nothing better to do that argue each point with me. I need help, not harrassment.

If you want to respond to me personally, please email me or ask NASS for my email. I think my email is available on my profile.

Love! Karen

choice_is_yours said...

Flatfoot,

Thank you for posting and saying, "I agree we should discuss the issues."

God be with you,
Choice

Anonymous said...

Karen,

I think the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart.

Read about David and Saul's relationship this week in your quiet time. Study 1 Samuel 18 to 2 Samuel chapter 1. See how the Lord might speak to you.

Saul was wrong (murderer, liar, deceiver, got council from a witch) but David (who was known as a man after God's own heart)would not say one unkind word against Saul, nor would he raise his hand against God's anointed. He trusted the Lord completely to take care of Saul.

David did not feel called to be the keeper of the gate (at this particular time in his life).

Pay particular attention to 1 Samuel Chapter 25 and Abigail's actions.

I don’t post unless I have prayed about it and feel an urging by the Holy Spirit to respond. The Lord could very well be using you to save some from committing sin, like Abigail did with David.

Again, this is what I feel like the Lord has placed on my heart. One test of the Lord speaking is always confirmed by His word.

If a person is speaking from the spiritual side and not the physical side of the soul, their words will be seasoned with a prayerful attitude and spiced with scripture, not corrupted with skepticism.

choice_is_yours said...

Karen,

You said, I am asking for personal reassurance that what I am doing on this blog is not sin.

You've done nothing sinful that I know of. You are one of the angels in this situation IMHO.

Your words and your spirit have been filled with grace and joy.

You are like sunshine in this dark time.

God bless you whether you leave this blog or stay. Either way we have all learned from your example.

I would like to ask you to work with NASS on some additional positive topics like the Thanksgiving thread. I was not online that day, but perhaps we could have more like that. I thought the Thaksgiving thread was a wonderful idea.

Perahps we should go ahead and start a Christmas thread now?

Wouldn't it be great if it got 500 joyous posts and we had to have "yet another" Christmas thread?

:)

God bless you for sharing with us your concerns.

Choice

Dot said...

Karen, Thank you for the feedback on the choir meeting. I wondered how that went. I, too, know the Whitmires and want them restored if that is possible. Dr. Whitmire deserves better. I think he has moved on but Linda is very hurt. To have put everything you have and everything you are into a work and then be treated the way they were would be hard to get over. I saw her recently and we talked about the years past and how blessed we are to know that side of BBC. We long for that same spirit now. I hope and pray that we (BBC) will return to it before it is gone forever. Reading some of the stuff from Gardendale members really makes you wonder what it will take to get our church back as we know it...

david S said...

“Does being a bondservant give you no rights?”
We are servants of Christ alone. Jesus’ own brothers described themselves as His servants. As such, we are dead to this world while His Resurrected life lives in us. (James 1:1, Gal. 2:20)

God works through human leaders, and Godly Shepherds are to be obeyed.
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Heb. 13:17

This of course raises the question: What if I think my leader is not acting Godly? The Scriptures ask us to deal with this inside the church. Concerns are to be aired before the people of God, not the world. Might note that when there were deep concerns at the Jerusalem Church about how Peter had dealt with Gentiles, he went before the church to answer their concerns. “When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God...” (Acts 11:18)

Notice what happened: He criticism was brought directly to Peter, and in turn he responded directly, resolving the issue. Pastor has created a communications team to respond to the issues raised.

Please note: When there were issues with Peter, they didn’t attack everything there was to attack about Peter!
“We hear Peter once cut a mans ear off... what kind of pastor is he?”
“Is it true that Peter actually took his eyes off Jesus and sank?”
“Word is, our pastor denied the Lord!”
Instead, they brought ONE issue to the floor and it was dealt with. Every stupid mistake Peter had made was not on the table. Pastor did apologize for jumping the fence and the communications team is attempting to answer questions. When each question is met with a new accusation, it brings the appearance that resolution is impossible.

cjesusnme said...

Karen,

I was touched by your post. I too, feel the same in God leading me to this blog site and to support those wanting truth to be brought into light at BBC. I agree that humility needs to begin from the pulpit and feel it would go a long way in healing our church. I will continue to pray for you and others who feel discouraged during this season of suffering. Much like a friend told me as he and his wife experienced, during the loss of their child, it was during that time that they learned to lean on Jesus to help them through their suffering and it made their walk with him much stronger. We must also remember that during this time with Bellevue.

Josh,

Thank you for your words of encouragement. I admit that at times it has been hard for me and then God places you among our midst and gives us those encouraging words to bring out the light for his Church. Thank you for your input and for helping us from afar. You will never know how much it means to us all.

God Bless to all!

choice_is_yours said...

From today's Good News:

12And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.


I ask, is this:
1) Mark Sharpe asking Dr. Gaines for restoration to the deacon body?

2) Dr. Gaines asking Mark Sharpe for forgiveness?

3) **All** of us... pleading with Jesus, who already saved us, to bring us together as one happy BBC family?


13And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.

Isn't amazing how just a few words can remove public shame and scandal? Isn't it amazing that without those few words, the man with leprosy continues to be in leprosy?


But I want to give my understanding of the next verse

14And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

When a lepor has been visibly healed of a visible disease, there is no need to hold him up in front of the community and say he is healed. Everyone who sees him knows it already.

But for the kinds of things we are talking about here, a few words in private need to followed up with a public act of foot washing.

Then we can all rejoice.

But so many of us need to wash each other's feet.


How big is the baptismal font?

:)

Anonymous said...

This is my first post. I've been at Bellevue for over a decade. I've tried to hold my tongue on some of the minor issues as they've come up. What i see, is more & more things(issues, etc) coming up. This concerns me.

I read people in this forum saying that BBC's paying for plane ticket (to cheerleading camp) is a justified moving expense. I don't know what planet this person is living on, but in the real world I beg you to show me a single company that write this off as a justified moving expense. If any of us, after having moved to a new job (in a new city), went and ask our new bosses to pay for a plane ticket to send our child to cheerleader camp. Was it a nice thing for BBC to do, yes, but IMHO it wasn't "justified and normal". I realize Dr. Gaines didn't ask for this, the point is he benefited from it b/c of his position in the church. The question i ask myself is who else on staff would have been given this privilege.

The next thing that concerns me, IMHO is the exaggerations of the truth or more accurately half truths, by Dr. Gaines. First it was a "tiny" little fence that couldn't be considered a fence. This fence turned out to be 42" tall. 42" is not tiny. Next he produces his church credit card and proclaims how he's never charged any personal expense to his church credit card. Factully, I agree this apprears to be true. The intent of this statment appears to be that he never charged anything personal to the church accts. I realize that we jump to this conclussion, but I felt led down that road. Can any church employee charge his wife's birthday party, personal hotel rooms, etc to the churches accts? I 100% believe that he repaid the bills, probably the day the bills arrived in church. I'm not questioning that, but what i feel is 2 sets of rules, us & them. The old boys network. When they want something, we're all family. We we want something, it's a business and their hands are tied... In closing on the half truths, let me ask you all one question. If your child, wife, husband, bro, sis,etc was telling you information the way Dr. Gaines is, would you accept it, or would you say it's wrong and address it?

Sorry for the long post; as well as being a little off topic. These are just some of the concerns i have, they are not going away. With the current "tactics" BBC is using with the CC, it sounds more and more like an "old boys network".

Honestly, Dr. Gaines salary doesn't concern me. I don't care to know it. My reasoning is that it doesn't matter. Let me explain, I know BBC is going to compensate the pastor very well and it should! My concern goes deeper. I grew up in smaller SB churches, around 50-150 members. Most cases the pastor was the lowest paid person there. If the families had extra, you always made private gifts to the pastor & his family. If the pastor had car issues, you would work on it for him for free. Have his family over or take them out to dinner, etc, you get the picture. As i stated, i feel confident that the BBC pastor will be generously compensated. This is where my concern lies. Why is the current regime at BBC picking up so many bills, bending over backwards, etc, for a man that probably makes more a year than arguably, 90% of his flock. No, I'm not saying 90% combined, but individually. I know my wife an i work ourselves to the bone, and we'd love to take a $10,000 vacation each year, but that's not in our budget. By saying this I want to clarify that I'm not jealous of the fact he is making this, rather that why is BBC sweetening the pot beyond this, for him.

Everyone will tell you it's illegal to yell smoke in a crowded theatre. What if there's a fire?

I'm not writing this to be supported or picked apart. Like I said earlier, I'm just concerned. I find more & more of my quiet time leaning towards these concerns.

L

ezekiel said...

Karen,

Even an annointed cherub can loose his annointing.
EZEKIEL

28:14 Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

28:15 Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.


I am certain that God does not intend for us to follow our leaders blindly. Israel was following it's Priests blindly. Much like we see today, we are also told not to question our "Priests". Did they not eventually end up killing JESUS?

Find your answer in the BIBLE. It appears that even SATAN was God ordained..........

Where would we be today if John the Baptist, Paul, Steven, Peter, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Danial had followed "God ordained authority"?

Sin is Sin, ruling the church from an elevated position is not a picture of a Godly servant.

Ex 20:25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

20:26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

Scattering the flock and refusing to go in search of the lost ones is about as anti-christ as it gets......

Anonymous said...

Just My Opinion said...
Mike Bratton wrote: Maybe it's just me, and if so feel free to let me know, but is it at all possible that references to "suffering" and "fighting" and "eye to eye" and "let's pound it in" aren't the most appropriate ways to refer to a church disagreement?

I'm just asking.

--Mike

Maybe it's just me, but is it at all possible that a reference of "anti-Bellevue" isn't the most appropiate way to refer to a church disagreement?

I'm just asking.


Then tell me a better way to refer to a mindset that encourages, and refuses to condemn, responses like the ones I mentioned, along with the numerous Hitler/Fascist references, the "standing against God" nonsense, as well as this slur...

Scattering the flock and refusing to go in search of the lost ones is about as anti-christ as it gets......

...and I'll consider using your term. If it's tax-deductible, I'll even pay you a small fee.

Mike, I agree that the references you've mention are not appropriate but neither has been some of your references. I think that everyone should address their concerns/issues just as that and nothing more. We need to limit name calling and gossiping. People need to simple state a concern and allow the answers to provide the direction for further questioning or acceptance.

I completely agree. I'm not confident that your coalition is interested in following your suggestion, but we should always have hope.

--Mike

Karen said...

Thanks to you all who have comforted me today. I actually spoke to Doyal Long on another separate personal issue today and his words comforted me as well. Thanks for the scripture references and I'm reading them over lunch.

Ezekiel,

Sometimes I don't get you, but I love you! :)

Karen

RS said...

Karen

I was also in the meeting last night and agree with your question on "rights". I only wish I had thought of this reply then but will offer it now. However, first I will digress to let others understand the context.

During the CC discussion with some of the Choir, Orchestra and Banner Ministry, the point was made by a woman (she can identify herself if she wishes to) that we are all bond servants in Christ. Of course, there was no disagreement with that statement - however she went on to say that as such that means we are slaves to Christ and as slaves we have no rights. She went on to say that because we are slaves we have no right to question any of our leaders

Now, I am not a theological scholar (if there are any on here I would love to hear your opinion), but as I understand things we not only have a right but an obligation to hold each other accountable to the scripture. I believe this should be done in love, but it must be done. We must stand for the truth, we must stand for what the Bible tells us is right and wrong. Forcing Dr. Whitmire to retire, breaking the law, donating money to organizations that are pro-abortion / pro-homosexual and lying are all things that are wrong. We must require integrity from both our Pastor and lay leaders. When they stumble, and they will, it is our responsibility to come forward.

Sin, like actions, has consequences and God uses people to implement His plan. I don't profess to know what that plan is, I don't know what the consequences will be - but I do know there has been a lot of sin without any real repentance from our Pastor to the congregation. A contrite and humble apology from the Pastor, admitting to his sins and asking for forgiveness, will go a long way towards the beginnings of reconciliation. I don't think that's all that is needed, but it's a start. He is our spiritual leader and he must lead in this area.

Rudi

Anonymous said...

I was at the CC meeting Sunday @ 8:00. Harry Smith led the meeting and I couldn't believe how bad he handled it. This is not ment to be hard, but Harry Smitt acted like he was in a 3 ring circus.

Maybe even like someone working at the fair, on the midway hosting one of those silly games. Where you take a basketball and get 3 foul shots for a dollar, knowing that that ball will never fit inside the rim.

Here should be one of the new rules.

Why not ask certain people on the CC questions!

Direct your questions to certain people and let them answer.

Why does everyone let Harry Smitt answer.

Harry, be fair and let us direct our questions to whom we may??

Come On!

Anonymous said...

Actually Harry reminded me of Monty Hall, you know on let's make a deal.

Anonymous said...

I, like many others, have read this blog for quite some time without commenting.

Since the Union City speech is no longer an active thread, I will post this comment here, since it does fall under the heading of things the CC needs to know, and obviously they have people monitoring this blog.

We have been shocked and saddened by all of the things that have come to light about the operation of our church and our leadership.
We dearly love Bellevue and oh, how we long for the days when just stepping onto the parking lot and approaching those beautiful doorways would bring joy to our hearts! Now, sadly, we feel confusion and apprehension.

We were overjoyed when the announcement of Dr. Gaines acceptance of the call to Bellevue was made. We still love him, want to respect him, cherish him and follow him as our pastor, but it's a struggle.

There have been many accusations..some proven, some yet to be proven or dismissed, but with our own ears, we heard the Union City speech. If there is ever an apology made by Dr. Gaines, that speech should be at the top of his list.

This exerpt from the speech..can't call it a sermon...breaks our hearts:

...."The choir stands up and applauds…the whole church stands up and applauds.

Not for me, but for our church and what God’s doing…..saying we’re with you Brother Steve….

I mean they were….it sound like a ballgame (whistles)…I can’t do all that stuff…they just goin’ nuts, man…

It’s like, give ‘em water pistols…they’ll attack Hell…amen...(audience laughs)…we’ll put that thing out. (chuckles) (audience laughs)...."

He made fun of us! Attack Hell with water pistols??? Did he not know how most of our hearts were breaking that this type of trouble had come to our place of sanctuary and worship of Jesus Christ?? It was not a ballgame atmosphere or a competition of any kind, just an attempt to let him know we supported our church and wanted all this behind us.

The longer the stonewalling, hiding behind the Communication Committee (who don't seem to have any more answers than the rest of us) goes on, the worse it will get.

Our fear is that by the time Dr. Gaines and the others who have failed us get around to some type of apology or attempt at reconciliation, our flock is going to be scattered and our church irreparably damaged.

Please, Pastor, if you are reading, you knew Bellevue before you came...you knew our leader, Dr. Rogers, and what he had spent 33 teaching us...you knew our love for Christ and His Word...and you knew we would embrace you and follow you, so why did you think you needed to tear us apart? Forgiveness is there...please ask us!

NBCCOF, I apologize for the length of this post..just needed to say this.

Anonymous said...

RS said...

...

Forcing Dr. Whitmire to retire,


My understanding is that Dr. Whitmire was planning his retirement long before Pastor Gaines arrived at Bellevue.

breaking the law,

And still the police have not been called!

Seriously, though... as I've asked earlier today, is it against the law for a member of your family to come visit?

And if you've been after some members of your family for a get-together, is it "breaking the law" for them to hop your fence and want to get together?

donating money to organizations that are pro-abortion / pro-homosexual

Oh. So that check was made out to First United because they're pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality?

Next time you help someone change a flat tire, you'd better get a background check first. That person might be on the way to perform an abortion, or engage in a sexual sin. Or knock over a convenience store.

and lying

About what?

are all things that are wrong.

So are rabble-rousing and misrepresentation.

--Mike

Anonymous said...

Hey FatLady,

I would like to but a ticket and see the next show.

Really, what will it take for our leadership to stop playing games?
I tseems know one knows what really is going on not even the CC.


Next, I am going to stop praising Jim W. He is one of the men who could come in and help work things out. Why does Jim W. and Mike S. only speak behind close.

I am just trying to get all of the answers. Jim and Mike need to stop whispering and speak to us about what they know for sure.

There silence is just like Steve Gaines isnt it? Why does everyone hide?

Anonymous said...

Mike Bratton said...
RS said...

...

Forcing Dr. Whitmire to retire,

My understanding is that Dr. Whitmire was planning his retirement long before Pastor Gaines arrived at Bellevue.\




Mike, Why is Jim Whitmire still receiving paychecks from Bellevue? If my employer still sends me checks 10 to 12 months when I'm gone, I'll be very happy.

I may agree with you here Mike. If Jim W. is not happy, why is he still cashing Bellevue's checks?
Is it payoff or hush money..shame, shame

Bell22 said...

You know I post very little now but I am trouble today.I just do not trust Steve Gaines any more, I just don't.I am not leaving Bellevue either so do not tell me that.Also if any deacons are reading this I hate to think people like Lanny Saunders and Rob Teutsch will be running our church in 10 or 15 years, you guys need to do something about them. We have major problems and only God can help us Thanks NASS for letting me post.

Anonymous said...

Carol...

Dr. Whitmire went to Steve Gaines in person about many issues... He is not your servant. He is the Lord's servant and stands or falls to His Master... Please do not make insinuations about someone who faithfully served Bellevue for decades... Especially when you don't have all of the facts about what they may or may not have done.

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