Saturday, November 04, 2006

E-mail Exchange Between Deacons on Biblical Authority

The following is a series of letters, the first two from deacon Robert Teutsch to some unidentified but concerned Bellevue members.

Letter #1 and Letter #2 are here.

Letter #3 which is here was written by Mr. Alvin Ellis, longtime Bellevue member and now inactive deacon to Robert Teutsch after Mr. Ellis received copies of Mr. Teutsch's two letters.

Letter #4 (immediately below) was Mr. Teutsch's reply, in its entirety, to Mr. Ellis.

From: Robert Teutsch
To: Alvin Ellis
Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 8:01 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Letter: Bellevue Stuff

This is where you and I disagree.

Letter #5 which is here is the letter Mr. Ellis sent to each member of the deacon body.

Mr. Ellis has given his express permission to publish his letters here, and Mr. Teutsch gave his permission to the unidentified recipients to "pass [them] on to anyone else who may be seeking truth in this situation."

Mr. Ellis has shared with me some statistics regarding the replies he's received from deacons to his letter. So far he's received 11 e-mail responses. Two disagreed with Mr. Teutsch. The rest didn't say they disagreed, so he says he assumed (based upon the instructions in his letter) that they agreed with Mr. Teutsch. He characterized them as ranging from "harsh" to "can't-we-just-all-get-along." He says he's received several positive verbal responses and one "rather harsh" verbal response. Some of the specific responses (sans names) will be posted later.


deceivedagain said...

Mr. Tuesch is indicative of the church in America today. There are no absolutes when it comes to truth and as long as money or position are more important than righteousness, nothing is going to get better. People ask why the church in America is not having any impact? Here's a good reason why.

Lwood said...

Whoooh!!!!!!!!!!!!What some comments from a Deacon of Bellevue Baptist Church!!!!!Unbeliveable and they wonder why they only have a few guestions submitted to them.I'm going to pray and unless the Lord leads otherwise I will not be at church service in the morning. I don't think I call listen with an open heart to these leaders. It seems they are the only CHRISTIANS in the house....

allofgrace said...

"What is really going to be the pits for them is when they sit before God's judgment one day, and God points to the souls in hell because of them because of this."

Jeremiah 31: 29-30..."In those days people will no longer say, 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.' Instead, everyone will die for his own sin; whoever eats sour grapes--his own teeth will be set on edge."

You're entitled to your thoughts, feelings, and opinions...but maintain some doctrinal integrity..this is the second time I've heard this same remark in so many words...once from the from a deacon.

New BBC Open Forum said...


Before you make that decision final, please read the 7:32 p.m. comment from "ezekiel" in the "New Finance Thread." You may want to reconsider.


Isawit said...

I think Dr. Rogers should be called something other than Adrian after all his years of service.
I'm sure this was a way of driving a talking point home.
The deacons that have been without
basic convictions should have never been voted in. How can we be sure in the future how a deacon views little things like lying?
I always thought any deacon would be respectful when dealing with the body. I am afraid to contact anyone after seeing the way all these people are being treated.

Tim said...

Perhaps we should consider becoming a Muslim church, because after all they are the fastest growing demomination on earth.

Or perhaps we should look at all the things that Jim Baker did with PTL to see how we could do the same. Afer all it was an incredibly prosperous and growing ministry at one time.

I would expect that the folks at the church of Haggard in Colorado should look to us for leadership. You know, no big deal because every thing is going so great. It really doesn't matter what your leadership does as long as you can prove your growth.

Of course I personally don't believe this, but apparantly there are some members of our deacon body that do. It seems to be the opinion of that particular group of deacons to accuse any that will not go along to get along of being the sultans of satan.

I have been increasingly sceptical of our deacon body and after this tirade, have completely lost confidence in all but a handful that I personally know are more interested in our church body than church politics. There are also a handful that I personally know that have satisfied themselves with digging their heels in and then firmly placing their head as deeply into the sand as they can. Why? Because, they really don't want to know and really don't care. How pathetic can that possibly be?

It appears to me that our problems are much deeper than I had originally thought.

I am also convinced more than ever that, "NO", I will not leave this church. It is in desperate need of those that love and fear God more than man. I have been here for over 25 years and will not leave unless directed by the Lord. Those of you who are not happy about that can show yourselves to the door. Your arrogance is only exceeded by your ignorance.

I would love to have faith in our leaders, but this is beyond belief.

I can not express more at this moment, because I feel that my outrage over this ridiculous commentary has overcome me.

I will say this in closing. Mr. Tuesch, expose all of those that have in good faith tried to work with this administration and deacon body as the venomous group that you believe and you will be in for an extremely rude awakening to find out what a small minority you represent. You have no business representing our church body with your vicious attitude.

A_Peasant_in_the_Pew said...

Mr. Tuesch.....your letters are such a clear expression of what is wrong at Bellevue. When Dr. Rogers was our pastor, there were few, if any, questions least out loud. Maybe there should have been some questions asked...but that doesn't matter now. The simple point is that NOW, questions are being asked.....and answers seem to be hard to get. As members of Bellevue, we have the right to ask questions and we deserve answers. Truth does not fear the light.

ezekiel said...

lwood, that is what they want you to do. With the risk of sounding "preachy" I offer the following for your consideration.

I make my attendence an act of worship to my Father. It is only about HIM and no other. I am not going to allow anyone to keep me from that act. I consider worship a required act of obedience. (To GOD)

If we could look at Eze 3,18,33 God himself through Ezekiel shows us what happens if we turn from our righteousness. (And yes, I believe you had to have had it before you could have turned from it).

34 is a warning to the shepherd about what happens to them if they scatter the flock. I argue that they do that through asking us to leave, and by acting in a way that so hardens our hearts that we start pushing out religion and start distancing ourselves from
our brothers and sisters. "hey if they are going to act like that, who needs it". Running Jesus's church like a business instead of a family of believers.

Do not harden your heart, fight daily for your righteousness and do not be afraid to question people or teaching that pushes you away from him and his people.

Eze 18:24 If a man turns from his righteousness none of his righteous deeds will be remembered.......the God of the Old Testement is still the God of the New Testement regardless of the Grace and Mercy message we have been hearing for years. HE still hates sin.

See you in the morning!

CDB said...

Does anyone know what Sunday School class Deacon Tuesch is in? I would like to ask him a few follow up questions. I know for sure his father in law, Deacon David Lowerance put him on the Deacon Board. I dont want to be judgemental, but put these two with Deacon Derick Calcoate or what ever his name is, and we have the Bellevue stooges.

New BBC Open Forum said...


The name-calling isn't necessary. No reason to stoop to Deacon Teutsch's level.

Whether you agree with Derrick Calcote's opinions or not, at least he's remained civil in his comments. Let's all try to do the same.


phil413 said...

I have been a member of Bellevue for about 15 years. I have 3 children that have been saved and baptised at bellevue and I can honestly say that I love my church. I grew up in a small church and witnessed a church controversy involving a pastor as a kid. (nothing of this magnitude) During a business meeting the issues were talked about and at the end the Pastor asked for a vote of confidence, even though he received the majority he immediately told the congregation that without the suuprt of him being unanimous that he was sure he needed to step down as our pastor. This pastor knew that he could not lead the church in the direction it needed to go without total support. I am ashamed it has taken me 35 years to realize what a selfless and total act of love for the church and for the ministry of Jesus Christ that truly was.
Phil. 4:13,
David Matlock

Bereans said...


Yes there are some deacons sitting on the fence. They try to play both sides and keep everyone happy. They call themselve, "Peacemakers". I call them something else!
Why are deacons so afraid of speaking out for truth? Do they really want to be a part of a social club of men who insist on total unity for continued membership? How do they look at themselves in the mirror?

We thought they were our leaders, they turned out to be scared and intimidated. They are doing us NO good! Who needs them anyway? Perhaps they are no better than our church leaders that we can't trust to tell the turth and do the right thing. Where does that leave us? If our deacons roll over and stay silent our fight will probably be over tonight and we can live with the consequences.

choice_is_yours said...

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

On this day, and on this day every week, we all need to take our eyes off the problems of this world and place them on Jesus.

There will always be problems in this world. There will always be problems in the church.

One day a week, if we come here, let's just talk about Jesus and build each other up.

Surely six days per week are enough for us to get bad news.

Just because all other blogs' comments do not pause one day a week does not mean that it is okay for us to go non-stop, day after day, week after week.

I have not taken sides with this comment. I am calling all of us to spend this day, the Lord's Day, singing his praises and forgetting the world's problems.

If I am too bold in this request, please forgive me.

choice_is_yours said...

Please note that this passage concerning a period of rest every seven days predates the Law.

I love my church said...

Choice is your,

I appreciate your concerns. However, some of us believe with all our hearts our church is in dire trouble. We can see no more important use of our time. If your home was burning you wouldn't take Sunday off before putting out the fire.

MOM4 said...

We have a malignancy in our midst. It is greed, arrogance, pride and the lust for power.
If it is not removed, Bellevue will die.
I am so thankful that the church is the Lord's people and not the leadership's people. We will survive even if Bellevue does succumb to this cancer.

choice_is_yours said...

The problems that exist in the world started with the first sin in the garden.

The church is not sin free. It's problems existed since early in New Testament times. Ananias and Sephira in Acts.

God is in control. Do not be afraid. I promise God has a plan where this will give him glory.

He wants us to worship him, not worship the church. This may actually be a symptom of our real problem.

I have great confidence that God will use Bellevue to do His work for decades and decades to come. But only if we trust Him.

If any problems exist at Bellevue, then they have been around for more than a few hours or a few days. They can all be handled, and we will all be edified. However, they cannot be resolved in a short length of time.

We must individually keep walking the Christian walk and leading balanced holy lives.

We must have a period of rest and worship every seven days. That is my heart speaking to you.

It is not humanly possible to carry on these stressful matters ad infinitum without a weekly pause. There will always be more rocks to throw. And there will always be more rocks thrown right back.

It is not God ordained to go without a time of peace weekly, either.

We really need to find a way to conform more to the image of Christ if we really want God to bless anything at Bellevue.

Remember, people all across the country are watching all of this.

My invitation is for you to consider using this place differently once per week.

Let's fill these conversations with praise for the living God, one day per week. Let's share our favorite Bible verses. Let's discuss community affaris, charity events, discipleship opportunities. What is your favorite hymn? Do you have any prayer requests? Do you like the song playing on right now?

Anything controversial can always wait until Monday. Mondays were made for bad news! Sundays are meant for Good News :)

God be with all who have patiently read these long-winded words!

New BBC Open Forum said...

I need to correct something I wrote earlier this afternoon. I wrote:

"They announced at the end of this morning's service that the time of this afternoon's deacons' meeting had been moved from 4:00 to 3:00. Sounds like they're planning on doing some extra deacin'.

"I'm just wondering if Mr. Teutsch's reference to heads rolling (my words) at today's meeting was real or just him blowing smoke. Guess we'll find out soon enough."

It later occurred to me, and someone kindly pointed it out as well, that Mr. Teutsch's letter, in which he referred to "calling out" the "evil men" in the upcoming deacons' meeting was dated September 10th. Therefore, he was not referring to today's deacons' meeting. I have removed my original comment and apologize for any confusion I may have caused.

The first part of my statement was true. They did bump the meeting up to 3:00 from 4:00. And I suppose this also answers my question. The answer is (b) it was just Mr. Teutsch blowing smoke.

MOM4 said...

I can understand what you are saying about not wanting to participate on the Lord's day. However, I want to ask you a question about the meeting this afternoon and later tonight. When the type of deacon's meeting as described in Mr. Teusch's letters is waiting in the wings, I can only grieve and cry out to the Lord to deliver these men who are about to be attacked again. I have been constant in prayer today, I cannot listen to Steve Gaines at all, he is offensive in my spirit. The man has his own self interest at heart and he is leading others who are blindly following. The meeting should be starting right about now, I am sick with grief and burdened for these men who are being defamed and mocked by their fellow deacons. Should THIS meeting be taking place on the Lord's day? Should Steve GAines have scheduled the Lord's Supper following such a meeting, while grief is in the hearts of the people over the assaults he is making?
I have talked to others who are deacons, pastors and teachers, some out of state and some local and they as well as I are suspect of the motives of anyone who would willingly partake of the Lord's supper following such a meeting where they attack and remove their fellow christian brothers because of blind leadership following a man of questionable character and integrity.
This is a dark day for Bellevue, not a new beginning.

Just My Opinion said...

Just happened to be in the church this afternoon showing visitors around. It appears that they are planning to utilizes some words from Dr. Rogers to convey to the deacons this afternoon. The sound check and video was both Dr. Rogers. Pretty good way to stifle any descending opinion before a meeting.

MOM4 said...

Of course Steve Gaines and leadership will use what ever means necessary to "quiet" anyone who opposes him. That is his custom. Anyone in his former churches who has questioned him has been verbally assaulted and vilified before being "run off".
When and if Chuck Taylor and company ever wake up, they will realize that their dream positions will actually be nightmares. I am praying for the deacons who will be willing to make a stand for integrity in this meeting.

allofgrace said...

Thank you for your wise words. God gave us the Sabbath as a day of rest..holy unto the Lord. Just a few of my favorite passages:

Isaiah 43:1-3: "...Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;..."

Php 4:8 "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

John 14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

MOM4 said...

All of Grace,
I appreciate your use of scripture, those particular verses were a comfort to me.
I still feel the deep need to pray for these men with the utmost urgency.
Thank you for the prayerful thoughtfulness you put into your post.

Sippet said...

Why can't all of you stop? This blog has taken an "in house" problem and broadcast it to the world. I am so embarrassed for ALL of you. You have put the LORD's CHURCH on public display in a light that has been less than acceptable. My family and I have missed out on an opportunity to hear Dr. Gaines preach because of all the in fighting that has occurred. My child was very disappointed, he so looked forward to hearing him. Also, we have come to Belleview at Christmas and Easter to watch the programs, that are so wonderful. This year, I have no desire to even try to find a date to attend. What a mess has been created, and how you have let it escape your walls. I have watched your websites and prayed it would end, but it is non stop. Growing up my mother always said " Fools names and Fools faces always appear in public places. Some have hid behind "blogger names", others have put their names on public display. I met one such person while visiting Memphis. I recognized his name and was immediately uncomfortable. Why can't you all see that you are not just effecting Bellevue? The public in general is watching and more importantly, so is GOD. My my what in the world would Dr. Rogers say about all this hooey.

Truth Hunter said...


Standing for truth is never hooey. That is what we learned from Dr. Rogers. He stood firm in the face of incredible opposition all for the sake of truth.

We aren't the kind of church that will tolerate error for the sake of unity. This isn't a rogue few. Instead it is a massive movement within our church.

Dr. Gaines forced this into the open. It wouldn't have been that way if he had cooperated with those who worked quietly behind the scenes for months before it ever went public. Mark Sharpe is a hero of the faith.

Please don't judge us. Pray for us instead.

choice_is_yours said...


I hope you will celebrate Christmas and Easter every year at Bellevue.

Jesus is Risen. You have no reason to be bitter or hurt. He paid the price for your sins and everyones'.

Thank you for letting us know your concerns. We will pray for you and your son.

You sound like a very nice person, and I hope that you will come back here, and we can all benefit from your perspective.

Peace be with you and your house.


P.S. Please don't stop praying for all of Bellevue. This is a time when we need as many people on their knees as possible.

New BBC Open Forum said...

sippet wrote:

"This blog has taken an "in house" problem and broadcast it to the world."

Much the same way Dr. Gaines took it and broadcast it to a sister congregation in Union City or to any visitors present in the 9/24 evening service at Bellevue?

"My family and I have missed out on an opportunity to hear Dr. Gaines preach because of all the in fighting that has occurred."

I'm sorry. When was that? I'm clueless as to why the issues at Bellevue would prevent someone from hearing Dr. Gaines preach. He's here most Sundays and quite often speaks at revivals and conventions around the state (and sometimes out) during the week. And if you'd like to watch him live on Sundays, Bellevue's services are broadcast over the internet. (He doesn't preach on Wednesdays although that service is broadcast live, too.) Also, you can watch some of his more recent services and listen to every sermon he's preached since his first Sunday over a year ago. All this is available here.

"My my what in the world would Dr. Rogers say about all this hooey."

Things likely never would have gotten to this point if Dr. Rogers were here. He wouldn't have participated in or condoned all the "hooey" we're now seeing from some in our church leadership.

I join choice_is_yours in inviting you to again celebrate Christmas and Easter at Bellevue. I can promise you won't see fist fights in the aisles, most of us don't bite :-), and you and your family will be warmly welcomed!

RM said...

When and if you guys succeed in running off Steve Gaines (and noone would blame him for leaving and then shaking the dust off his feet) you will find that it will be IMPOSSIBLE to find another man who is stupid enough to come to Bellevue. Maybe you should start thinking about a woman preacher to replace him...

Truth Hunter said...


Since we believe in the authority of Scripture, we will never have a woman pastor.

Please don't worry about our next pastor. God will direct the next pastor to Bellevue, whether that happens next year or next decade.

None of this is about any one man. This is much larger than that. I firmly believe this has been allowed to happen to purify our church. This won't end until the purification is complete.

RM said...

Sorry guys but if you believed in the authority of Scripture this blog would not exist.

New BBC Open Forum said...

rm wrote: "When and if you guys succeed in running off Steve Gaines (and noone would blame him for leaving and then shaking the dust off his feet) you will find that it will be IMPOSSIBLE to find another man who is stupid enough to come to Bellevue. Maybe you should start thinking about a woman preacher to replace him... "

If all you want to do is hurl insults at people who dare ask questions and put women in their place (that was the point, wasn't it?), then please don't take up space with your comments. This forum is for people, regardless of their opinions, to come and have civil discussions with each other. If you have something constructive to contribute, you're more than welcome. Otherwise, please take the advice you've given "us" and just go somewhere else.


Truth Hunter said...


I'm glad Martin Luther didn't have your view of the importance of fighting for truth when he nailed his 95 Theses up for the whole world to see. You might be saving in your 401K to purchase an indulgence to free yourself or your ancestors from purgatory.

I'm not trying to be funny. Our church is in need of major reform. If you aren't a member and actively involved at Bellevue, you have no idea what is going on.

Jesus is our real model. When he saw the temple turned into a market used to line the pockets of the leaders, he didn't worry about unity. He grew angry and threw the moneychangers out. There is such a thing as righteous anger.

Thanks for your concern for our church.

MOM4 said...

Could you "shrink" Mr. Tuesch and Ellis posts to a link or some kind of reference, it sure takes a long time to download. Thanks

choice_is_yours said...

As we conclude Sunday, here is a song and a prayer.

Click to hear Amazing Grace

9After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11Give us this day our daily bread.

12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.


Please give us peace and help us to show love to each other and encourage eachother on towards Your glory.

Help us to identify and passionately hate sin. Help us not to hate each other ever. When we are afraid of anything other than you, comfort us & bring our eyes back to the cross where your son died for us.

If we are in sin, convict us. Let us not deceive ourselves. Help us to be the first to confess sins and the last to accuse.

In Jesus name I pray,

Bellevue Friend said...


I too agree that Dr. Rogers should always be refered to with honor and respect befitting the most outstanding Preacher, Pastor and Statesman in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Dr. Rogers was decidely a Man of God. This notion that the Church was declining under him is laughable.

Don't forget when the Lord sent Dr. Rogers your way in 1972, the attendance was around 1200-150O, with a membership of around 9,000. the church had been in a steady decline for 20 years before The Lord sent Dr. Rogers your way!

In the thirty + years that followed the Lord Jesus used him to touch a world with the prayerful support and love of God's people at Bellevue! Bellevue is a miracle of God's grace!

In his last years of Dr. Rogers, ministry one might argue the church was down to 6 to 8 thousand in attendance....pardon me....but that is still 7 times what Bellevue was when he arrived!

Bellevue you had the most Christ-like minister a church could have!

I believe the vast majority of God's people loved him deeply, I know I did, and do.

My prayer is that in time, you will learn to love Dr. Gaines as well.

I must state emphaticaly...Any Deacon who would denagrate the legacy of Dr. Rogers, is misrepresenting the wonderful man of God that was and is Dr. Adrian Rogers!

Tim said...


If our deacon body were acting on the authority that the scriptures give them, then this blog would not have been necessary. Our deacon body has scripturally been given the authority to handle the financial matters of the church as well as settling disputes among members of the body. However, our deacon body has decided that the matters of the church are not as important as church politics.

Isawit said...

Tim... I was thinking about Haggard too. I wonder how many of his members "knew something wasn't right" and made a choice to look the other way. With a church that size, I think it is a shame someone from the "outside" had to exposed him.I would guess that without the audio, he would still be lying and dragging his church behind him.

On Hank Hanergraff has a great article on truth.

New BBC Open Forum said...

This is just a hypothetical question, and I am in no way whatsoever suggesting or implying that "the Colorado situation" applies to Bellevue's issues, but hypothetically I wonder what Mr. Teutsch would say if "that" were one of the "allegations" here? Would he still say, "So what?" I mean, where do you draw the line?

And let me make it perfectly clear once again that no one is suggesting any impropriety of that or a similar nature here. Absolutely none!


Isawit said...

What was so sad about Haggard, he sat there yesterday with his family
and denined (lied) all allegations.

Today he had a different story.
How could he lie so sincerly? This man called by God. I wanted to believe him yesterday.

I really know we need to pray for his family. I have a feeling he will milk the very life from them.

Tim said...

The point that I was making in the Colorado case is that the church body addressed the problem and handled it. They conducted their investigation quickly and thoroughly. Even the pastor had enough integrity to remove himself from leadership until the investigation was completed. It would be nice to have leadership in place that actually cares enough about the church to take charge and exhbit actual leadership. I believe that is what is extremely relevant to Bellevue.

I love my church said...

Brother Tim,

I agree with you. Our leaders just can't bring this to an end.

Tonight we did not hear "Dr. Gaines never once used church credit cards for personal purchases."

Instead we hear they looked into it and everything is okay.

Well, is it okay because he used them and paid the money back? If yes, then he lied to us all on Oct 24th and should resign today.

Did they even look at all the credit cards?

I don't want to nitpick, but they always leave us with more questions than answers.

I can't stand feeling like I'm not being a good sheeple.

MOM4 said...

I believe that any time we cannot ask questions and receive an answer that we can trust in, we will always have doubts. I cannot help but think that there is something amiss because it is so staged. We will have to wait a week to ask the committee questions unless we can find a deacon we trust.
I often wondered why Thomas doubted - but Jesus let him see with his eyes and touch with his hands. Jesue knew human nature and Thomas who was a believer, not an evil adversary like we supposedly are, still had his doubts. I wish we had someone like Jesus as our pastor.

I love my church said...


I've been on my knees praying for some kind of assurance I can trust our leaders. I am praying the Lord won't let me believe a lie either way. So far, I am still doubting the pastor and the inner circle.

If the pastor did none of the things he is accused I truly want this to be over with. I think there are still problems that we need to fix, but surely we can fix them. If he is lying or if the other leaders are lying, I want them gone.
Tonight I kept waiting for someone to tell us the pastor never used credit cards. They never said it. If he did nothing wrong why didn't they just let Mark Sharpe look at everything before this thing got out of control. It would have been real simple.

I'm sorry, I want to believe them, but right now this thing still stinks to me.

Anonymous said...

The following is for general consideration.

Sometimes in an effort to get to the answer you must ask the question in a way that covers the concern in a broader sense.

For example, is the question really about a credit card or the church paying for personal items regardless of how the bill arrives?

Another approach is to ask the same question in different ways.

Always follow up with a response that clarifies, such as, "so what you're saying is that...."

You must also ask yourselves, if something or someone is considered to be following policy, when did that policy get put in place or when was it last updated and why? Who created and/or put the policy in place? Who is affected or must adhere to the policy? Who doesn't? Is the policy actually written down or is it just an general understanding that a few are aware of? Was it created to solve a problem or prevent one? Was it created in good faith for the protection of all or just a few? Examine how it has been applied and by and with whom and you will get a better understanding of the legitimacy of the policy. If you ask enough questions and weigh the source of your information you will find that the truth becomes obvious and easily documentable.

If you ask a specific question and get a specific answer you may find that you are getting an honest answer but you need to understand you may not be seeing the biggest picture or whole truth of the matter.

Don't make a move on the board until you have considered your playmates options. We live in a world that people are not quick to be transparent and up front. How many people do you personally know that don't color and shape conversation to their advantage?

You must be wise and thoughtful in your questions and concerns. If it is a convictional heartfelt concern...think it through. First put all your effort in proving to yourself how you may have misunderstood or are perhaps wrong. Don't put your hands on any man quickly - but if and when you decide you must, make sure your questions sequentially eliminate error and misrepresentation and continually lead to confirmable truth.


New BBC Open Forum said...

i love my church wrote:

"I can't stand feeling like I'm not being a good sheeple."

Excuse me. What's a sheeple?


Anonymous said...

Ewe crack me up NASS

I love my church said...

Sheeple are people who, like a good sheep, stay in line, never asks questions and never cause their master problems.

New BBC Open Forum said...

That must make me "notastepfordsheeple."

Thank ewe.

NASS needs sleep(le)!

Josh Tucker said...

To no one in particular,

I am finished. I am confronted with and perplexed by the fact that many people in this forum are not willing to be reasoned with and have enough personal ammunition to continue their crusade ad nauseaum.

I am not one to say that someone caused someone else to go to hell because I believe all have the opportunity for salvation (Romans 1:19-20). Moreover, I believe in having a strong deacon body filled with wise, spiritually mature, real and vibrant Christian men who help the pastor, disciple and edify the church body, and serve both (Titus 1:5-16; 1 Peter 5:1-4). Do I think that everything has been handled well or wisely by those in leadership at Bellevue? No, I do not. However, I strongly believe that this process of confrontation with Bellevue's leadership began without a firm biblical basis and continues today without a firm biblical backing as well.

In stating that, I cannot continue to participate in this forum because I believe it has turned into a source of rancor and divisiveness that is promoting a spirit of discontent within Bellevue and the body of Christ, which is the church. There is not a spirit of love here as described in 1 Peter 3:8-12.

In parting, I leave you with a word of caution. Be careful which cross you choose to carry for it may be the one that you are nailed to. It has been stated repeatedly that individuals are merely trying to follow God's word in this matter. However, neither Matthew 18 nor 1 Timothy 5:19 have been followed as laid out in scripture.

Consider the following listed facts in light of these aformentioned verses:

1. Neither Mark Sharpe nor Richard Emerson have ever stated that they have first hand knowledge of the original allegations (i.e. have not personally witnessed). Consequently, and this point is quite clear, Matthew 18 cannot be employed because the verses (vs. 15-17) dealing with conflict refer to a believer sinning against another believer (i.e. the aggrieved is a primary witness and one who has been personally aggrieved). Admittedly, some manuscripts just say "if a brother sins", but this does not shift the responsibility of the aggrieved to actually have a firsthand knowledge of the sin.

2. By entertaining (e.g. considering) or listening to the accusations brought against a church leader without the presence of 2 or more firsthand (e.g. actual) witnesses of sin, you are violating Paul's instructions concerning church leaders in 1 Timothy 5:19.

The blatent disregard for these aforementioned verses and scriptural principles is the primary reason I am choosing to no longer communicate with individuals in this forum.

From one believer to another -- trust God in this matter, let Him change hearts if needed, and, most importantly, make sure that it is ourselves we are checking first with regard to sin in our lives or the application of scripture.

We are to hold our fellow Christians accountable, but only when done according to God's Word.

I wish leave you with my life verse, 1 Peter 3:15b.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (NIV)

allofgrace said...

I understand your sentiments. I pray that everyone will be able to find peace in this. I hope you'll continue to stop by the SBdiscussionforum..I've appreciated your contributions and points of view. In any event blessings to you.

Will McKay said...

what was that?

MOM4 said...

ok, ya got me! What was what?

RM said...


I hate to disillusion you but the deacons have not been given the Scriptural authority to handle the financial matters of the church. They are "servants". Perhaps this confusion is what is causing all of the problems at Bellevue.

Tim said...


Those that are truly interested can read the entire passage.

Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

This was the original appointed of deacons in the church. Although, there were some very specific items covered in this passage the Bible has clearly presented the principle of what was intended.

I would be interested in your interpretation.

MOM4 said...

We are waiting on the outcome of the "extended deacon's meeting" last night.
Reports anyone???

CDB said...

The pastor on Sept. 27, 2005 at the Jonnson Murphy shoe store at Wolfchase Mall charge a total of $175.00 . Show us the credit charge receipt and statement that you charged this on.

It is said this purchase was on a Bellevue credit card. If not, show us your personal documents as this is now a issue and a stumbling block. Please clear up your testimony now...

CDB said...

Sorry...the total purchase was $193.00

CDB said...

and that total with tax was $193.00 to be clear..

New BBC Open Forum said...

rm wrote:

"I hate to disillusion you but the deacons have not been given the Scriptural authority to handle the financial matters of the church. They are "servants". Perhaps this confusion is what is causing all of the problems at Bellevue."

Good point, rm. I certainly don't think that's causing all the problems, but it may be that we're expecting a lot more of the deacons that they can or are willing to do.

All the more reason we need updated bylaws and guidelines in place. You wouldn't think of running a company with 30,000 employees without detailed procedures for handling all aspects of the business. Why should a church with 30,000 members (let's say 18,000 that are more or less active and not just names on the roll) operate any differently?


MOM4 said...

If everything was "fine" last night, where are all the deacons who should be laying it all out for us. So far, they are all very very quiet.
If things are well and good, why the hush hush?
Spell it out for us so we can move on!

Lwood said...

cdb said
$193.00 for shoes...Well maybe he considers that a work expense since he does wear them on Sunday Morning. I think..Since I have never really looked at his shoes but he does wear some nice ties...Just trying to be on the light side for a change....
On the serious side tho...The credit card issue is only one of the issues but seems to have taken center stage. Maybe to get the members off of the other issues that need to be addressed. Maybe the reason that nothing has been discussed with the Sunday night events is that it was just nothing to it. Exactly what I was expecting. Nothing......

choice_is_yours said...

Time out for some Good News.

Luke 1:21-25
(King James Version)

21And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.

22And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.

23And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

24And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,

25Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

King James Version

New International Version

You can comment on today's passage and see previous days' passages at

Luke's Good news for BBC

For non BBC members, there is also information on how to become a Christian and what beliefs BBC holds dear.

Peace be to you all. Remember that Jesus is here in this place because two or more are gathered in His name here. Also remember that many are watching to see if he is honored in this place above all else.

Perhaps today we can see someone apologize to someone else for something small. Perhaps that apology will be accepted with grace. Then perhaps that holy example will give courage to others with weightier consciences.

Tim said...


I was not speaking of bylaws or any other of our church documents. I was speaking of scriptural authority alone. I don't know if our church bylaws address this issue or not. Please see my response post that addresses rm and directs to the original scriptural formation of the deacon body in ACTS 3:6

Anonymous said...

RM said...

I hate to disillusion you but the deacons have not been given the Scriptural authority to handle the financial matters of the church. They are "servants". Perhaps this confusion is what is causing all of the problems at Bellevue.

9:53 AM, November 06, 2006

OK rm - so who has been assigned the authority to handle financial matters. Have the deacons or any other person or group specifically been disallowed to handle financial matters? Must they or anyone specifically be given permission for them to handle such things?

Please explain.


oldtimer said...

CDB said...
and that total with tax was $193.00 to be clear..

11:21 AM, November 06, 2006

I agree the credit card issues are only one of the problems. I tooo would like to see the credit card charge, " for the shoes" according to cdb comments earlier. Now shows us it's that simple... this one may be toooo hard to cover. I mean let's look at that charge on your personal card?????I bet he won't...

Don't let this charge go away not explained???

oldtimer said...

Why do we need a communication committee? That's part of the problem, everyone speaks for someone else. Why not let the pastor maybe take part of a day and answer anyones questions and get your answers that way?? What is so hard about that. There we go...first hand questions frome members and first hand answers from the pastor.

I love my church said...

Why, if the pastor never used the cards for personal purchases (as he swore on Sept. 24) did John Crockett, a communications committee member, ask Richard Emerson if it made a difference if the pastor paid the church back?

The answer for me is it makes a HUGE difference. The pastor swore he never did it. Either he did it or he did not. There is no grey area in this question.

Last night all they said was everything is fine. They did not say he never used the credit cards. Why not?

Also, we don't know how many credit cards he had access to. Did the deacons look at all of them? Did they even know to ask how many there are? Did they have the guts to ask?

This isn't straining gnats, this is real simple and it goes to the integrity of a lot of men. Either he did it or not. We deserve a straight answer. We didn't get that last night.

I don't think the credit cards are the biggest problem by a mile. However, if we have been lied to about this, the rest is academic to me. I won't stay in a church with a pastor who stands in the pulpits and lies about something like this. Please notice I said "IF". I am not accusing him of anything whatsover. Others have done the accusing. I just want the truth now that the issue has been raised.

Pastor, deacons, and communications committe, please answer this question with a definitive straight forward answer. That would go a long way toward healing the church.

I'm afraid I know why it hasn't been answered. I'm afraid the answer will cast several people in a bad light. If he never did it, why wouldn't he have allowed Mark Sharpe access to the informtion months ago to keep this from becoming a public matter? It doesn't add up. We aren't stupid. Just tell us the truth so we can decide how to deal with it and move on.

New BBC Open Forum said...

tim wrote: "I was not speaking of bylaws or any other of our church documents. I was speaking of scriptural authority alone."

Yes, that was apparent. Hence my remark that, "It may be that we're expecting a lot more of the deacons that they can or are willing to do."

You're correct that bylaws are not related to "deaconly" duties, and I don't disagree with anything you said. Thanks.


SupportsGodsMan said...

WHAT IF......?

What if Bro. Steve took out a full page ad in the Commerical Appeal and gave a formal apology to Mark Sharpe for trespassing?

What if Bellevue sent out a 50 page document to every Bellevue member to personally review..... showing all of Bro. Steve's credit card charges on every concievable credit card that he might have access to use, and after careful review showed no personal or unreasonble charges?

What if Bro. Steve and a newly appointed by-law committee formed 450 pages of proposed BY-LAWS for Bellevue Baptist Chruch that instituted TOTAL transparency of all salaries, procedures for credit card charges, and allowed for triple levels of accountablilbility for all actions and expenditures of the church and to make sure that at least 10 people on one of the levels of accountablility had no tie in to ECS, MATBS, and were not high paid attorneys, but perhaps made up of homemakers and people who have not served on previous committees?

What if Bro. Steve signed a covenant to all Bellevue members promising that he would preach 50 out of 52 Wednesday nights and promised to spend no less that 12 hours a week preparing all his sermons so they can have they "meaty" content that so many people are craving?

Even if ALL of these criteria were met, most of the people who regularly post on this blogsite (MOM4, NASS,etc...etc....etc.....) would not be satisfied unless Bro. Steve resigned.

God will hold you accountable on judgement day for all of the divisiveness you have brought upon the body of Christ. You say you are only seeking truth and transparency, but you have gone way beyond that to having a destructive and selfish spirit.

I believe that God will judge you greatly. You should repent, apologize to all of Bellevue and the go find another church.

MOM4 said...

In your list of What If's, you forgot the music.:)
Just kidding with you, actually, your "what if list" would be rather nice if it weren't so extreme and we are not attempting to be extreme, but to date, we have no concrete information from anyone - no deacons, no leadership no nobody...

stillwaitingandwatching said...


Dr. Gaines apologized for the Union City debacle?


Dr. Gaines apologized for forcing out a beloved staff member DURING the time that we were all grieving over the homegoing of Dr. Rogers?


Dr. Gaines apologized for stripping our staff and running BBC more like a corporation than a ministry?


Dr. Gaines apologized for not sitting down with Mark Sharpe and Richard Emerson and hammered out all of the issues they had months ago and not allowed our church to come to this?


He just humbly said he was sorry???

And there's another beautiful statement of reconciliation from someone who "supports God's man," "go find yourself another church." {sigh}

Lwood said...

There we go again. Go find another church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It does not matter what the Pastor does right or wrong we are all to just goooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I really don't see anything christian in supportsgodsman Blog. Could the Pastor have written this with his new shoes on :)

oldtimer said...

stillwaiting and watching:

WOW .... I like your what if's...

What about a little humor at this point..You can do anything but stay off of my Johnson & Murphy shoes....this is not a Johnny Cash song but Elvis..

Bell22 said...

Go find a another church,that is just rich.You know what that means it is hitting to close to home.No every one stay put we were here first.

whynotask said...

Question to any that might know.
Why has Ms. Rodgers not attended Bellevue the last 2 weeks? Is she ok?

stillwaitingandwatching said...

whynotask said...
Question to any that might know.
Why has Ms. Rodgers not attended Bellevue the last 2 weeks? Is she ok?

She was there last night.

BR said...

I heard (heresay) that she (Mrs Rogers) is attending GTB after she teaches her class at BBC. I would like to know if that is true or not. If this is so, we are in deeper trouble than we thought.

MOM4 said...

Hey Ya'll,
Mrs Rogers' name does not have a "d" in the spelling. Common mistake, I see it a lot...

stillwaitingandwatching said...

You are correct. It's Rogers. I was copying the quote. Also, I should have changed the Ms. to Mrs. Anyway, no big deal. That's the lovely thing about can't speak typos. LOL

MOM4 said...

Actually, I can type and write better than I could ever speak. I am not a "public" personality at all. I think it is because I have to collect my thoughts because they are here and there and back over with age I am told (grandmothers mix up names to their grandchildren's dismay) - so go I.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Any news on how the deacon's meeting went last night?

RM said...

Sorry to have been so slow in answering you guys. I think if you will study Scripture carefully the deacons are called to be servants to the church. My suggestion for handling finances is to leave it in the hands of the Budget or Finance Committee (with strong input from the Personnel Committee). You might want to study the role of elders in the church and I think your problems with deacons might be resolved. The sad thing is that you have now degenerated into wanting to review every credit card charge and now you're even wondering things about Adrian's wife.

This is a pathetic sight to behold.

Tim said...


Our pastor himself said that our "deacons" are the "elders" of our church. The word is interchangeable in the original text.

So it appears that we are back to what I had originally stated, the deacons have the Biblical Authority to control financial matters of the church even if the deacon body defers their responsibility to a committee that they have appointed. If I am missing something here direct me to scripture that presents it differently.

mostlylurkin said...

Has anyone ever tried nailing jello to a wall?

stillwaitingandwatching said...

I honestly think my head is going to explode. If anyone sees someone walking around BBC without a head, it's me!!! UGH!!! This is SO aggrivating!!

Tim said...

I think that jello to the wall has been attempted. Folks are finding out that you need to stick it in a baggy first.

I love my church said...


Our finance committee members do not even know how much the pastor and senior leaders make. I agree this should be left in their hands, but somehow they don't have control over the finances. That is insane.

deceivedagain said...


The finance committee and the ad hoc committee didn't even know the pastor had a mastercard as well as the american express bills they actually showed everyone.

The way the church handled this is like a district attorney bringing charges against a defendant and then the DA has to leave the court for the duration of the trial. The only one that gets to speak is the accused and he is the only one that gets to interview the witnesses and then he gets to come back and adress the jury and give one side of the story without being cross examined.

I think a lot of criminals would like this setup.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Earlier today I wrote to tim: "You're correct that bylaws are not related to "deaconly" duties, and I don't disagree with anything you said."

I have since reconsidered the first part of that remark, and I'd like to say that upon reconsideration, perhaps the bylaws should relate to "deaconly" duties. Maybe that's part of the problem. They don't know their job description because they don't have one! Footwashing (feetwashing?) and other first century duties aren't in demand much these days. Perhaps all they need are some written guidelines to understand what's expected of them. Just a thought.


New BBC Open Forum said...


I've hesitated to bring up this same analogy because there are some who undoubtedly will say that now we're saying Dr. Gaines has done something illegal. (Well, there was the fence, but I'm not talking about that.) I don't think anyone's saying at this point that anything illegal has occurred, but the analogy is a good one. As long as only one side is allowed to present "evidence," there can be no fair evaluation thereof.


allofgrace said...

Tim said...


Our pastor himself said that our "deacons" are the "elders" of our church. The word is interchangeable in the original text.

So it appears that we are back to what I had originally stated, the deacons have the Biblical Authority to control financial matters of the church even if the deacon body defers their responsibility to a committee that they have appointed. If I am missing something here direct me to scripture that presents it differently.

Since I didn't hear Dr Gaines make that statement, I don't know in what context he used the term "elders". The terms elder/pastor/bishop/overseer are, as I understand it, interchangeable in the New Testament. I'm not aware of any other terms that are interchanged with "deacon", but I am not a Greek scholar. The context in which the first deacons were ordained was "waiting tables", which leads me to believe the main function, or at least one of the main functions of the deacon, was in the area of benevolence. The responsibilities of deacons can vary from church to church, depending on the size of the church, church by- laws and/or constitution, etc. They may or may not be involved directly in the finances of the church. If, in a particular church, the main function of it's deacons is the area of benevolence, then a scenario where a church member or family under their care should be in some temporal need, the deacon or deacons over them might meet together and discuss the circumstances and decide if the situation warrants benevolence from the church. If they vote that such benevolence is warranted, and they are not directly in charge of church finances, they would approach the committee or elder/s in charge of finances and request the church to release funds to take care of the need. In this case they are only involved in finances in a secondary way. I hope this may shed a little light on it. Blessings.

Bin Wonderin said...

I like Alvin Ellis.

Tim said...


The serving of tables that is refered to in Acts 6 is the same as the money changers tables that are reffered to in other scriptures. This was indeed adminisitration of the financial affairs. It is not refering to appointing seven men to the position of a waitress.

I have relied upon Bible Commentaries from John Darby's Synopsis, Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary, John Wesley's Explanatory Notes and Commentaries of John Calvin.

These commentaries also refer to the translation of the original text of elders, deacons and overseers as being interchangable. The original text is different for pastor, minister and bishop in most places that were translated, however.

allofgrace said...

It was me..allofgrace who posted that comment. I was just posing some different schemes that I've both seen and have had related to me from pastors and deacons I've known. No offense intended..just relaying I stated..I'm not a Greek scholar, this is the first I've heard of other terms as elder, overseer interchanged with deacon..but anyway I give you the entire context of the passage you refer to:

"In those days when number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, 'It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.'" Acts 6:1-4

But again, I defer to you.

Tim said...

I would like to rederict the discussion a bit on this thread.

It seems that there will not be any resolve to the credit card issue. The actual use of the card for personal reasons if they were reimbursed would be fairly minor, if we had not been told that it had never happened. If it was a single instance that had been forgotten then that is certainly understandable. However, if there were multiple instances, then credibility and integrity has become the issue.

The area that I would like to redirect concerning credibility and integrity have to do with the Wednesday night services.

We were told that the time on Wednesday night was being spent to meet with the ministers of other departments within the church so that we would not be away from his family every night of the week. I was bothered quite a bit that the Wednesday night directly preceeding this statement our pastor was preaching some where else. It seemed that it would be odd for this to have just slipped his mind on Sunday night considering that it was such a carefully prepared statement that was being made. It was something that I was willing to look past and just consider to be a case of absented mindedness.

However, now that we see that there are scheduled multiple Wednesday night preaching engagements, I believe that there is an issue of integrity and credibility.

I do not believe that there is a deacon in the church that could deny that what we were told is different from the truth. They probably will or like Mr. Tuesch simply will not care if we were told the truth or not.

I am not sure how it stands with other members, but a pastor should be held accountable for deliberately decieving the congregation of the church. It is obvious considering the sheer number of speaking engagements that are scheduled that this was not just an oversight.

For me personally, it has really made me wonder how much of the iceberg lies beneath the surface.

New BBC Open Forum said...


To return to the credit card issue for just a moment, consider that it could also be that is the tip of the iceberg and the time devoted to reviewing some of the receipts and having the deacons vote that they're in order little more than a diversion from the more serious issues. Not saying this is the case, just food for thought.


Tim said...


It had absolutely occured to me that the credit card issue may have been addressed as part of a dog and pony show. As you well know someone didn't fall off the back of the cabbage truck yesterday.heh..heh...

SeriouslySad said...

New BBC Open Forum said...

seriouslysad wrote:

Who is that masked blogger?

Truth Hunter said...

Excellent point praying4ewe.

For what it's worth, the word
is the deacons saw NOTHING Sunday. Chip Freeman went over a powerpoint summary of credit card transactions. They did NOT examine credit card statements.

Does this square with what was said Sunday night?

Karen said...

This came to me from Derrick Calcotte after I asked about the credit card deacon's meeting. It says they reviewed every single charge on every single statement. Truth Hunter, how can this be??


I can tell you with confidence, that the credit card issue has been laid to rest beyond any question. We reviewed every single charge on every single statement going back to the very beginning. Each charge was examined and found to be 100% legitimate.

There were allegations that the pastor made personal charges on the card. This has been proven untrue beyond a shadow of a doubt.

There were allegations that there was some other credit card that had the personal charges on it. This has been proven false as well. The pastor does have an additional card (a Master Card, in case he is somewhere that doesn't take AmEx) but in the lifetime of that card there has been on one charge on it. It was a legitimate charge and it was under $10.

Sister Karen, I am heartbroken. It kills me that we have subjected our pastor to this insane degree of scrutiny, especially since the facts show exactly what we've been told time and time again there is nothing wrong.

Those who have falsely slandered our pastor over this credit card issue, who have gossiped, who have murmured about it need to repent before our Lord and apologize publicly. It is terrible that such damage has been done to his reputation over this issue of credit cards, when all allegations are totally without merit.

Thanks for checking in. Please help get the word out on the truth. If there is a question on this issue that you do not feel I've answered fully, please, please, please follow up and let me clarify it. There is nothing at all questionable there, and I want you to be completely reassured.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

DeaconSolider said...

Brother Calcote:

I am in disagreement with you on the credit card issue. I am also a deacon and I along with other deacons who did not vote one way or the other in the deacons meeting. It is not a 100% closed issue for many of the deacons. I ask you to stop saying these things as it just does not help the deacon body at this time. I dont know why you think you are the spokesman for us??

I believe there are other credits cards and some accounts may have been closed and this question was never asked. I have asked certain deacon leadership to follow up with this and if I leave you my name it may hurt the deacon efforts at this time.

Brother Derrick, I know you haven't been a deacon very long, but I do think you are trying to help, but let's be careful as you dont speak for all of the deacons. Look forward to meeting you one day.

berean33 said...

How sad that those who claim to be in search of the truth have to hide the truth in order to convince others. Mr Ellis is not a currently serving deacon. His statement that, quote: "I've been a Bellevue deacon since the early 80's ..." is at least an outright falsehood. And at worst is an intentional deception in order to sway the opinions of those who may not have yet made up their mind about this whole sordid affair. Mr. Ellis has not been a deacon for some 15 years. Further, he did not leave willingly, he was removed from the deacon body by Dr. Rogers himself because of his divisive spirit. Why did he choose to not reveal this fact? Perhaps it would taint the rest of testimony? Why is it necessary for those in the "Sharpe gang" to continue to post misleading "evidence" and only present those things that support what they want to believe. "Truth" means revealing EVERYTHING, not just the things that help your case. Unfortunately, Mr. Ellis has seen fit to reveal only a part of the truth. And a part of the truth is a whole lie.

And where is Craig Parker?!? The one man who actually calims to have seen the evidence with his own eyes (and the only one, I might add) is conspicuously absent from all of the precedings. That alone speaks volumes for the weight of evidence against Pastor Steve. He has a Biblical mandate to bring forward what he knows; not on his terms or Bellevue's or yours or mine. Its time to put up or shut up.

deceivedagain said...

Dear berean33,
I pray your temper doesn't get the best of you. Calm down and take a deep breath.
I will not speak for Mr. Ellis but it's my understanding that once a deacon at Bellevue, you are always going to be a deacon unless you are removed by the church. You may not be active, but you are still a deacon. I've been to many a birthday parties in honor of our beloved Dr. Rogers and have seen many deacons from the past who no longer serve. They are still recognized as a deacon of Bellevue but once again I repeat, they are not considered active.
If this is in error, please let all of us know and if I'm wrong I will appologize.
I think you need to appologize for referencing everyone as being in the "sharpegang". Most of us out here that are searching for the truth don't even know him. This may be part of your problem in not recognizing the scope of the situation.

BR said...

When Harry Smith spoke Sunday night and stated that it was with 100% certainty that there was NO credit card abuse, if I am not mistaken, there was not ONE deacon who stood up and said that it is NOT a closed issue with the credit cards. What's up with that? Are they afraid of getting shouted down by folks with a hostile spirit?

AND I believe while Mr. Ellis is not an active deacon, a deacon he is, unless you have it written somewhere that Dr Rogers removed him, he has already admitted right here within this blog that there were convictions that he struggled with and discussed with Dr Rogers. There is nothing new under the sun....

Derrick Calcote said...


Please drop me an e.mail. We need need to discuss some things and this is not the place for it.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

New BBC Open Forum said...

berean33 and others,

I refer you to the original post for this thread in which it was stated,

"Letter #3 which is here was written by Mr. Alvin Ellis, longtime Bellevue member and now inactive deacon to Robert Teutsch after Mr. Ellis received copies of Mr. Teutsch's two letters."


Tim said...


I have appreciated your candor and directness and willingness to try to keep the body of Bellevue informed.

I am somewhat perplexed, however that you want to have private discussions with another deacon, who apparantly is not in agreement with your assesment of certain situations.

It causes me to wonder if you have perhaps been "appointed" as the contact point between the church and the BBC Open Forum. Especially, because we have heard little or nothing from any of the other deacons in agreement or otherwise.

Please deaconsoldier, do not allow an attempt to silence your voice be sucessful.


Derrick Calcote

help get the word out on the truth

Decaon Calcote, are you going to sit here as a deacon of Christ`s church and not tell the truth to those who want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

I hope you have just been misled young deacon because you are so wrong that there is no right to your answers.

Are you not aware that Craig Parker met with Steve Gaines, Mark Daughtery, Terry Brimhall, and others, face to face to show them the problems and concerns with the misuse of finances.

Are you not aware that your good friend, Harry Smith, went before the congregation on Sunday evening and did not tell the truth?

Are you not aware that Steve Gaines knows that Craig Parker has in no way said everything is just fine?

Do you realize that these men took the Lord`s supper after giving false details to the entire church?

The last time I read the Bible it said those who drink it unworthily drink damnation upon themselves.

That should concern you.

Young man, don`t you dare ever speak for all the deacons of Bellevue again in public or private. If you do, you will not be telling the truth!

Don`t you dare ask another deacon to come into the dark to discuss what he voiced in public.

Don`t you dare rebuke the truth or those who search for it.

The Sword of Truth has fallen, let it cut to the very marrow of Bellevue.

New BBC Open Forum said...


I have deleted your comment. It was inappropriate in this forum. If you have an issue with your father, please take it up with him personally -- not here.


stillwaitingandwatching said...

Thank you NBBCOF,

That was highly uncalled for.

Anonymous said...

swordoftruth said... Do you realize that these men took the Lord`s supper after giving false details to the entire church?

The last time I read the Bible it said those who drink it unworthily drink damnation upon themselves.

And the last time I read it, whoever you are, it said we tiny little humans have no business judging the spiritual state of another tiny little human.


Tim said...


I would be interested to know the particular Biblical reference that you are speaking of.

The tool man.

Tim said...


You have made many good points. I would like to try and give you a little insight into our church and some of the problems.
When the church allienates its membership, especially concerning the practicing of the principles of the faith, then there are divisions among the church. I do not blame you for not wanting to be a part of this, nor do I, but I believe in my heart that God expects men and women to protect what he loved so dearly.

debtoralive said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
New BBC Open Forum said...


I'll let this one stand, but "berean33" had already made the same point you are, so what's the point of repeating it? Just to get a dig in on your father? And just so he knows it's his own daughter doing the digging? I fail to see the point.

But just for the record, I checked with Mr. Ellis before posting the letters and asked if "longtime Bellevue member and now inactive deacon" was an accurate description, and he confirmed that it was both correct and appropriate. I was always under the impression that once a deacon always a deacon, much like we still refer to former presidents as "President So-and-so." So I think it was clear to anyone who read the letters that your father is not an active deacon. He also explained this in a post a couple of weeks ago, so it's clear he's not a part of the deacon body at this time, and I've no doubt the people his letter was addressed to, the members of the current deacon body, are well aware of that fact as well. I didn't interpret his statement as an attempt to deceive anyone. Besides, the point of publishing his letters was to put Mr. Teutsch's letters in context. It wasn't about your father, and whether he's currently serving as a deacon or not (and as I said, it was clear he's not) was irrelevant.

Your words to your father in a public forum were harsh and bitter and as "sw&w" pointed out, were very much "uncalled for." It's obvious you're hurting, and I'm truly sorry you have issues with your father and hope you can eventually work everything out, but this is not the place to broadcast or deal with those issues. As someone suggested, "Put a stamp on it and mail it." Better yet, don't. I don't know your father personally, but he seems sincere in his convictions, and I hate to think how seeing your words at all, much less aired to the world, would hurt him. I just pray he didn't see your letter during the 14 minutes it was up and that you'll prayerfully reconsider letting him ever see it.

In spite of any differences I ever had with my dear father, I would never in a million years have spoken to him in the tone in which you spoke to your father, and I would never, ever have rebuked him in public. You quoted several scriptures in your lengthy missive. How then may I ask exactly does what you wrote and published in a public place honor your parents? I would urge you to hold your father up in prayer and continue to try to discuss any issues you may have with him privately and in love.

Tim said...


I understand how confusing this must all be, especially from those that are outside looking in. If I may I would like to share with you some thoughts.

If you turn solely to man, then you will be met with "delusion". Mere men can not meet the requirements of God.
Romans 3:23
"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

If you turn solely to the church, then you will be met with "delamination". The church being composed of sinful men that have been saved only by grace, will have strife and struggles.
Luke 9:46-48
"Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.
And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,
and said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me; and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great."

If you turn solely to Jesus, then you will be met with "deliverance". It is only thru Jesus that we have the assurance of Gods great salvation.
Acts 2:22
...whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved
Acts 4:12
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

I would like to inveite you to speak with God, just as if you were talking on the telephone.

Confess - "Lord, I am a sinner."

Confide - "Jesus, I believe that you are the Holy Son of God and I accept you as my Savior."

Confirm - "Thank you Lord Jesus for accepting me and coming into my life."

debtoralive said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
debtoralive said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tim said...


I am sorry to hear that you are unwilling.

Jesus had many hard sayings and there were many that turned away from the truth.

We had elections in our country yesterday. There were differences of policy and differences of opinion. Some of them that became quite heated. Does this cause us or would it cause you to no longer be an American? I would hope not.

There are differences within our churches, God has appointed us all with differences, not that we may all be the same, but that we all may be one. What you are witnessing within our church at this time is an attempt to restore oneness to our family. Should a discussion or difference within the family of God keep you from being a Christian? God forbid, but I can not make that decision for you.

I can only point you to Jesus and I urge you to accept Him. I can assure you that if you do, things that you did not understand before you will understand. Then you should begin reading the Bible, our former pastor always encouraged new Christians to read the book of John. As you read more, you will understand more.

Sadly without the first step of accepting Christ and Christ alone, you will be unable to understand.

I would encourage you to take that first step and assure you that you will never regret it. Even when there is strife within the church family, you will not regret giving your life to Jesus Christ.

Tim said...


I have only seen recently a post from you and have done my best to point you in the right direction. I have kept up with this post myself for quite a while and would like to know what the hateful and mean things that you have heard. I suppose that perhaps you are refering to the letters from some of the deacons (such as Mr.Tuesch) or perhaps you have seen the letters of staff members (such as Phil Weatherwax). These are the reasons that this blog exist because those that have choose to comment here believe that those that are hateful and mean do not belong in leadership at our church.

westtnbarrister said...


Someone once said, “The Christian church is the only society in the world in which membership is based upon the qualification that the candidate shall be unworthy of membership.”

If you place your faith in the church or in any man, you will be let down every time. The standard for the Christian is Jesus Christ and we certainly fall short. We too are the heirs of Adam and struggle with our sin nature, just like everyone else. Please don’t let our shortcomings blind you to the truth of who Jesus was, is, and forevermore will be.

I’m praying for you because He is tugging at your heart.

Tim said...


Do you not think that as members of the body of Bellevue, when we see deacons behaving like Mr. Tuesch, and staff members behaving like Phil Weatherwax, have proof beyond proof that our pastor has been dishonest in telling us the reasons that he does not preach on Wednesday nights, have proof positive that he has belittled the members of the church at other churches, that we should do nothing?

If you had a group of friends and a few of them were acting like that what would you do? What if you and a group of friends had built something really cool and great and a few neighborhood bullies came to take it away? What would you do?

I haven't seen anything mean that the people that post here have done, other than those that don't care about the truth and putting a stop to the cruel things that are being done within the church.

westtnbarrister said...

I posted the following excerpts on Cafe Kudzu this morning and someone encouraged me to post them here. This isn't aimed at either "side" at Bellevue. There is truth here for us all.

Betty, here ya go...

from Nancy Pearcey's book Total Truth:

“…We may preach a God of love, we may even have opportunities to reach thousands through our ministries and church programs, but if nonbelievers do not observe visible love within those ministries and churches and Christian organizations, then we undermine the credibility of our message.

‘The medium is the message,’ to use Marshall McLuhan’s famous phrase. And for Christians, the medium is the way we treat one another. ‘By this all people will know that you are my disciples,’ Jesus said, ‘if you have love for one another.’ (John 13:35). God’s strategy for reaching a lost world is for the church to function as a visible demonstration of His existence.

…having a Christian worldview is not just about answering intellectual questions. It also means following biblical principles in the personal and practical spheres of life…a Christian church or ministry may be biblical in its message and yet fail to be biblical in its methods. Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, said that the Lord’s work must be done the Lord’s way, if it is to have the Lord’s blessing. We must express the truth not only in what we preach but also in how we preach it. A Christian organization may be doing the Lord’s work—but if it is acting on human zeal and willpower, using secular methods of promotion and publicity, without visible love among staff and coworkers, then it is merely another form of human achievement, accomplishing little for the kingdom of God…”

choice_is_yours said...

fedup said...
By the way, I didn't really need the advice on praying to receive Jesus and confessing and all that. I've heard that for a long time

Neighbor, you are here by divine appointment talking about how to go to Heaven instead of to Hell.

You have just made all of this pain and suffering worthwhile for 30,000 people.

Thank you.

Because we know that we will be in Heaven someday and that we will never even remember this little "bump in the road" that we are going through now.

But if our pain has drawn you (and other non-Christians who are reading quietly) here to condsider eternal things that really matter, and if you (or someone reading silently) should accept eternal salvation, then the eternal benefit you (or that other persons) gain outweighs the temporal inconvenience we are going through... outweighs BY FAR. In fact, it is our Christian duty to bear the weight of this matter because souls are hanging in the balance perhaps like yours.

You have blessed us by coming here and speaking with us.

And in return for your blessed offering, again please consider what Jesus is offering you.

Please, tell us about the prayer you considered praying so long ago.

Think back... didn't Jesus's offer sound like a fair offer to you one of the other times you heard about it? The offer is still valid this day that you read this, but might not be valid for you "tomorrow" if you don't take it "today." None of us knows when our life will end or when Jesus will return.

Is it possible that if you think back maybe you already did sincerely pray that prayer (perhaps long ago), but what you are looking for now is a place to grow as a Christian?

If you ever sincerely prayed that prayer, then God has already added your name with all the saints who will go to Heaven.

Did you know that?

Even if you never told anyone mortal.

Perhaps we should listen to your church advice if you really already are part of the Body.

Try to remember. I doubt you have forgotten the taste of salvation.

God bless you for coming here!

Lwood said...

That love and trust must start at the very top and then it trickles down to the least of us.
Debtoralive said about making all kinds of allegations against our Pastor.......Most of the problems on this post have started with the actions of the pastor...Review the tapes and videos...They are his own words......
Concerning the Lords Supper....I agree that it should never have been served or taken with the problems that are in existance. I for one did not participate because of this.
I do have a question???What is the Bellevue Foundation and where does the money come from that funds the Bellevue Foundation???

westtnbarrister said...

"That love and trust must start at the very top..."


MOM4 said...

I totally agree about the timing of the Lord's Supper and I did not partake as well. I also believe that that decision and the decisions that I make with the Lord are between me and the Lord and I resent having to hold hands with my neighbor to pray before I partake. This is one of the most intimate of times with our Lord and should be a personal time of reflection between you and God. It is very difficult to reflect on your own shortcomings and sins when you have to hold hands with your neighbor and listen as all those around you attempt to get right. This time should be a time to be quiet and listen to the Lord as he reveals anything in your heart that may not be right, not a time for group prayer.
Sorry about getting off topic, NASS, just couldn't help myself...maybe this could be a new thread:)

I know how you feel, we are all fedup as well, but we still love each other and you in Christ and would like to welcome you into our family. Just like our earthly families, because we are in disagreement (even fuss and feud) at this particular time, does not mean we do not love each other. Make no mistake, we would all come together to minister in love over one lost soul, be it yours or anyone elses.

Derrick Calcote said...

Tim, Sword, et. al.

As I've already mentioned, I am choosing not to get into discussions on this forum anymore.

Anyone who truly seeks truth is welcome to e.mail me and I will be discuss with them what I know, and defer what I don't know to the communications committee.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

choice_is_yours said...


In honor of our guest, please please make a new topic for non-Christians.

Fedup, you have implied a wonderful suggestion. Please give the moderator a chance to think about that request.

P.S. I'm sorry for so many things that there is not room for it all here. Everyone here acknowledges their sinful nature.

But that's why we have trusted in Jesus. We can enter into Heaven even though we have sinned so much.

There is love here. Everyone here does in fact love everyone else. You've just caught us in a bad time. We are not perfect. Just keep coming back.

And put your faith in Jesus, not in how we treat each other. You'll never see us be perfect, but Jesus already is, is eternally perfect.

If I have sinned against anyone here, I apologize. Please let me know what I have said or done (intentionally or not, known or unknown) and give me a chance to make it right.

I may not be able to make it right, but give me a chance.

I ask in the name of Jesus with fedupwiththis as my witness.


choice_is_yours said...

Neighbor Fedupwiththis,

You have heard the gospel and you have heard how to pray to receive Christ. You heard all of this long ago.

May we address you as "brother?"


New BBC Open Forum said...

fedupwthis wrote:

"But not one person has said they agree that the postings here are unloving. Nobody has said they're sorry."

Maybe that's because overall, they don't. About the only "unloving" comments I've read have come from posters like rm, Mike Bratton, and a couple of others. For the most part, people on both sides of the issue have remained civil and respectful. When I've made an error I've always apologized, and so have others. Just because you don't agree with someone's opinion doesn't mean that person owes you an apology.

I sincerely hope that you're the person you say you are and that you will consider the thoughtful, concerned comments that posters such as "tim" and "choice_is_yours" have addressed to you. I ditto their thoughts. And if you are indeed being honest with us, then I apologize in advance for my next remark and would ask you to please ignore it.

If you're really someone from the church or a pastor trying to "bait" people, the jig's up!


Tim said...


The things that you have heard do not sound hateful or mean, they actually sound trivial and have had little or no bearing in these discussions. I understand your dilema, but you are not a part of our church so you are not well informed on the topics that are going on and it would be unwise for me to trouble you with the truly cruel and hurtful things that have happened. Perhaps the examples of things that I gave you were not beneficial to you, but they should have been. I tried to give you real life examples of things that are disturbing to those within our church. Take a look again and see if it helps any. Perhaps you might answer, how you think some things should be handled.

BellevueFoundationHelp said...

Needing Answers,

Why did the Bellevue Foundation give Evangelical Christian School $523,425.00 ?

ilovebbc said...

To those of you with questions about the Bellevue Foundation . . . .

choice_is_yours said...

Neighbor Fedupwiththis,

God bless you for coming here and posting.

Please look at

4 spiritual laws

Please come back.

We are praying for you.

Feel free to join in with a small study of Luke that started from this BBC Open Forum blog.

Luke's Good News for Bellevue

choice_is_yours said...


This has been a wonderful day. We have just had a chance to share Jesus with someone right here.

You have done an outstanding job for Jesus.

Let's pray that more people will hear about Jesus because of this blog.

Your grateful brother,

Tim said...


I know that there a few deacons who read these post daily, perhaps more than I am aware of.

Your alliegience belongs to no man. Your alliegience belongs to Christ and his church. There is absolutely no Biblical mandate that require or supports such a pledge.

The apostle Paul when faced with those that wanted pledge as his followers told them directly that Apollos planted and Paul watered but God provided the increase. It was also Paul that told the church follow me as I follow Christ. If Paul would not accept the alliegience of followers then by what right does Dr. Gaines have to do so.






New BBC Open Forum said...


Right you are, Tim! Please, if you don't mind, cross post your last comment to the new thread at the top of the front page.


ezekiel said...

Whoa Nelly!!!!! I thought I had been keeping up with things but I must have missed something. What evidence do you have that there is such a pledge??????? If there is such a pledge I suggest a total suspension of all tithing until somebody can show us the scriptural basis for that one. Diotrephes 3John anybody?????? Is anybody reading? This is just.......
Anybody remember Jim Jones and grape coolaid???????

New BBC Open Forum said...


See the top thread on the front page entitled "Deacons Pledge Loyalty.... "

Exhibit A is a letter from Chuck Taylor to the deacons -- unless someone's playing a very cruel joke!


1john3 said...


1john3 said...

new bbc open forum
Please create a new thread on this "PLEDGE" issue.

New BBC Open Forum said...


It's been done. Please look at the top of the front page. The "Deacons Pledge Loyalty... " thread has been open since last night.

As a reminder, let's all please remember to remain civil and not resort to name calling. We can be above that.


LibertyInChrist said...

The letter of loyalty to the pastor and whether or not this allegiance is misplaced OR BIBICAL, I invite you all to read the article (in two parts) entitled:


choice_is_yours said...

Thank you to Josh Tucker who gave an update on Fedupwthis. He left his update as part of a longer comment on the thread titled, "Deacons to Pledge Loyalty to Pastor Steve Gaines."

Here is an abbreviated quote of the comment which retains the portion concerning Fedupwthis.

Josh Tucker said...
It is almost impossible to continue to sit on the sidelines.


The mother of the fedupwiththis had left her name on previous posts, so you could actually trace who both individuals were, and she stated in a now deleted post that she wanted to protect the identity of her [adult]daughter.


6:03 PM, November 09, 2006

I also saw what was posted by Fedupwthis's mother. I added the part in brackets for clarity. As Tim had noted, Fedupwthis has deleted all her own comments that were in this thread.


choice_is_yours said...

Here is an update from Fedupwthis's mother.

momandmember said...
I posted a statement of explanation last night and then promptly deleted it, as well as all the posts made by my daughter. I will not be pushed into revealing who I am, because I wish to protect the identity of my daughter (she's 24, not 12), who is unsaved and was very much wounded by what she felt was a lack of concern demonstrated toward her and her opinions. She said two people were kind to her and seemed like they cared, but everyone else just kept on fighting with each other and arguing with her, as well. Her opinion, not mine. And just FYI, if you want to delete your posts and remove them "forever," then go to the trashcan at the bottom of your post, delete it, then hit the "back" button on the top of your browser. It will ask you if you want to "remove comment forever," and you log in again with your name and password and voila, it's gone. I chose to delete her posts because I have every desire to see her not hurt any further, and I really wish to protect my own identity where this is concerned, too. You can continue to think if you wish that this was an attack by someone who was up to no good, but it was not. It was a sincere plea by an unsaved young woman to let those involved in this forum know how they were coming across to her. My heart broke as I read her posts and deleted each of them, wondering if harm had been done to her seeking spirit. I really did not know she was aware of all of this, nor that she was honestly seeking again or using my computer to post her thoughts. Please pray for her and our family. She's been through several rough years and we really long to see her come to the Lord.

7:51 PM, November 09, 2006


Thank you for helping us know best how to pray for your family member. Yes, her salvation is of great concern. I believe that there is no reason why she can not accept Jesus tonite. There will always be problems in the world and in the church. Just look at the state of the world when Jesus was crucified. And even in the hour of his death we saw the soldier saying... surely this was the son of God.

Salvation occurred even in the shadow of heartbreak for the saints.

Witness to your daughter. Jesus is still the same. Today, yesterday, tomorrow...

choice_is_yours said...

Matthew 27:54
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!"

momandmember said...


Thank you for the advice to witness to my daughter. She was raised in the church and I have been witnessing to her since she came into this world. I will keep on until I have no breath left.

I don't know whether you have kids, but sometimes it gets to the point where words from mom and dad don't help if they can't see for theirselves that what mom and dad are saying really works. Also, if all their friends think church is pointless and full of hypocrites, they're a lot less likely to buy into it if they don't see it as real.

And just in case you think I'm relying to much on what she is saying, I have one child who's saved and one who's not. Both were raised in church from day one. Every attempt has been made to live a consistent witness based on the Bible, in this home.

What concerns me is that she is looking to find something that is real and what she is seeing is church members who appear to her like the love of God makes absolutely no difference in their lives. I hope that I am spiritually mature enough to pick through all this and not come away full of hate and anger. But she is not. Her attitude is pretty much like so many of her generation in that she wants something that will make a big difference in her life and she wants peace in her heart, but she doesn't believe that people here have found that because they are not demonstrating love and peace. At least some are not. Our kids are watching all of this and they will imitate us someday when they become church leaders (the ones who are actually saved). Pretty scary, isn't it?

So many people have missed the point of what she tried to say and what I'm trying to say to explain it. She doesn't need more Bible verses or admonishments to focus on Jesus instead of on people. That's great for people who know Jesus, but people who don't know him don't tend to focus on him much. Sometimes what we are to them screams so loud, they can't hear a thing we say. I just think we all need to be more consistent and stop the personal attacks and the rudeness. Like mom always said, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Most of your points have been driven home in a huge way. Is there really any point in saying them over and over and over? When you do that, a lot of times your tone gets uglier and your message is lost. We all get the fence argument and the credit card thing. We see the issue about the pledge and that many people see our deacons as having no guts. What is accomplished by keeping on saying that again and again? NASS is trying her best to get everyone to stay civil and respectful, but clearly some are not capable of doing what she's asking. If this site can't reflect decency in our dealings with each other as church family members, perhaps it should be shut down, not to silence voices but to keep us from doing more harm.

choice_is_yours said...

You know your daughter, and you have been a Godly witness in her life. I would guess that deep down she knows you are telling the truth about Jesus.

You have given me several things to consider in my prayer time. I don't want to just give some automatic reply that will sound exactly like some of what you just said you have heard before.

You've caught me with no solid response.

I believe that your daughter can be saved today. That I am sure of.

She may have already sincerely prayed that prayer for salvation though. She just might not have talked about it.

It was several years after I prayed to receive Jesus before I told anybody.

If you've grown up Baptist that won't make any sense to you. It wasn't until I met some Bellevue people, and they started witnessing to me that I realized I had already prayed the prayer they were talking about years earlier.

I was raised in the church by Godly family. We just weren't Baptists.

Just understand that I was trying to live up to "outward appearances" of what church "looked like".

I had been baptized (again, it was not baptistic), and so I had Lord's supper and all that every week.

But I had never met JESUS.

I thought I was doing just like everyone else, go to church, go to sunday school, go to youth group, go to summer camp, go to everything basically.

And one day, just by accident, in a lobby at a mechanic's office I found a 4 spiritual laws tract.

The prayer at the end was beautiful, and so I prayed it.

And I stuck it in my pocket and kept on going to church.

It was years later before I started meeting some Baptists from BBC.

Let me again point you back to the centurion.

Do you think the centurion was at all impressed with Christians? I don't.

And even among the 12 there had been a bitter divisions just before the crucifixion:

Jesus had called the leader, Peter, "Satan."

Judas, had betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

Then Peter even denied Christ in a public courtyard near the leader of the Jewish religion's house.

Compared to that mess, Bellevue actually is doing very well. Let's have some perspective and balance. There have always been problems in the church because none of us are perfect.

None of us are pretending to be perfect right now.

Frankly, I don't get super impressed with Christians now either, I include myself. Too many of us, including me, are so busy pretending that we are perfect, that we just are not REAL. And the world can spot a counterfeit because they are looking for something REAL.

It's all about Jesus.

Nothing else matters.

God bless you so much for taking the time to talk with me.

Thanks for wading through my long comment :)