Friday, November 10, 2006

Love Offering 2006

This Sunday, November 12th, is Love Offering Sunday at Bellevue Baptist Church.

After all the information about the improvements and future expansions of the physical plant of Bellevue, there is a reference to funding for the Impact Ministry Center in Frayser, the only mention of any of the 2006 Love Offering going towards missions.

Now, let's look at giving by various churches across the SBC to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions. In 2005 Bellevue Baptist Church was 41st in amount given at $201,725.00. The list of the top 100 churches in total giving is here.

To put that into perspective, however, we need to look at the per capita amount given. For a church like Bellevue, reported to have 29,700 members, that's a paltry $6.79 per member! Even if just 10,000 members contributed, that's still only $20.17 per person. The list of the top 100 churches in per capita giving is here. Note that BBC comes nowhere close to making the cut.

Here are last year's designations for the Love Offering, and there's no mention of missions.

A search of Bellevue's website results in 0 (zero) records containing "Lottie Moon" or the terms "giving" and "missions" in the same article.

Considering the issues facing our church now and the information presented above:

1. Do you plan to contribute to the 2006 Love Offering?

2. Do you believe that recent Love Offerings have been wisely invested in Bellevue and in the ways they were promised?

3. What is your opinion of the amount given to missions? How does it reflect on our vision to "Send out Thy light and Thy truth"?

4. Estimates of the cash reserves of BBC range from $25-30 million, and this year's general budget receipts are estimated to exceed $30,000,000. How does this influence your opinion?

Please remember to keep your comments respectful of others regardless of whether you agree with someone's position or not. We can disagree without being disagreeable.

Thanks to "memphismom02" for the idea for this topic.

108 comments:

Memphismom02 said...

I will not be contributing to the 2006 Love Offering. The 2004 Love Offering was designated for new buses and to re-vamp the pre-school & children's areas. That has been partially done. The big promise was of a "Tree House" in the East entrance. Haven't seen that one yet. The 2005 Love Offering was for the erection of a Prayer Chapel. Did I miss ground-breaking on this one? Not. Because we have not been led to believe we can trust the staff and the financial committees with our weekly tithes nd offerings, I will not be contributing any part of ANOTHER million. Just where is all that money sitting that has been given to past Love Offerings??? Don't tell me about "long-range planning". That was not what we were told when we gave to these past Love Offerings. I believe that institutions can be greedy, just as individuals can be greedy.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Does anyone know the total amounts given to the Love Offering the past few years?

NASS

CRRV said...

Aren't there serious legal ramifications if money is raised for a specifically stated project and then the money raised does not go to that? I think secular companies can get into serious trouble if they do such a thing. Am I right or is it just a moral thing that churches or businesses "should" do?

padroc said...

Take a look at the budget. In the past BBC has given close to 20% of the total budget to missions. This is now maybe 3 or 4 million dollars. I believe that "who gets what" is listed as well. Love offering dollars are extra - over and above the budget discressionary funds which in the past have provided funding for significant construction projects such as the 9 million dollar childrens bulding, which was needed and built several years ahead of the master planning committee schedule. The Prayer Chapel last year was DOA because there was no prior plan or planning. It looks like there may now be a plan that will include a prayer - wedding chapel. The Gospel is the life, death, and resurection of Christ; what I've written here is not the gospel nor the whole truth and nothing but the truth, just some general information which may be of some use or interst.

New BBC Open Forum said...

padroc wrote:

"Take a look at the budget."

I'm not going to dispute your figures (other than to say that 20% of the budget has to be more than 3-4 million if the total budget is really upwards of $30 million), but I'd love to take a look at the budget. How do I get a copy?

I was under the impression we already have a prayer/wedding chapel. Is there some reason we need another one?

Just to clarify, I wasn't saying that BBC doesn't give more than $200K to missions, just that that's all they give to the Lottie Moon offering. And compared to other SB churches, the amount given per member to Lottie Moon truly is paltry.

NASS

New BBC Open Forum said...

I have a problem with the whole show that goes with it. I've been out of town the last couple of years on Love Offering Sunday, but from the film clips they've shown, it looks like they've historically made a big production out of having everyone file past the big box and drop their envelopes in it. Giving is a very private thing and as such, putting on a show and having people make a public display of giving their offerings, to me flies in the face of Scripture. "But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth." Matthew 6:3

I'm very uncomfortable with this, and even if I were going to give to the Love Offering this year, I wouldn't want to do it in that manner. I also realize this is a long standing tradition at Bellevue, and if other people are comfortable with it I have no problem with them participating. I'm just saying that for me to participate seems wrong.

NASS

Tim said...

I've already made mine. I love James Dobson and the ministry that he has at Focus on the Family.

By the way congrats to our blog admin. Over 20,000 visits on the counter in just over 2 weeks. You know that means that the 3 or 4 of us have visited 4,000-5,000 times each. Well, plus Mike Bratton. Thanks Mike you have helped reinforce the legitmacy of this site. I knew you were good for something.

Churchmouse said...

For thirty years Bellevue sat under the teaching of one of the most gifted pastors this world will ever know. We are without excuse. To close our fist to foreign missions in these dark days must be an affront to Almighty God. Thank you for pointing this out memphismom2 and NASS. No wonder we are having problems.

Bin Wonderin said...

25 million in the bank?

Wow. That would buy a ton of airtime at Thru the Bible Radio

MOM4 said...

I was under the impression that the Love offering was a once a year offering that would eliminate debt for our projects, and cover all of the expenses that the general tithes and offerings did not cover. Other churches take up offerings at different times of the year for giving to other causes such as Lottie Moon, building funds, etc., while we always just did the one time offering - which is a good thing because the pastor did not have to focus or constantly dwell on the giving aspect but once per year. ALL people are turned off by someone constantly harping on giving, regardless of what they say, therefore, Dr Rogers was wise to hold this special time only once per year. One of the main reasons we only gave an extra weeks tithe, was because of the designations listed, which included the lack of missions giving. Having children, I never saw the need to design the children's building to such an elaborate extreme, but would have preferred a better use of the funds to be applied to square feet rather than decoration, but obviously that is a dead issue at this point.
Regarding the "prayer chapel" - I have felt from the beginning that this is a total waste. Steve Gaines from the start stated that he wanted to teach us to pray and wanted a designated place so we could pray like HE felt we should pray. So, if we do not pray like he says, does that mean we will be locked out?
We already have a chapel, ugly, dated and cramped tho it may be. How about spending a few dollars sprucing it up or even expanding it and forgo the new building in favor of missions. There are many many members who would go on mission trips, youth trips and choir trips but they do not have the money or cannot afford to take the time off from work to go. Why not put that money into scholarships for this purpose? After all, isn't that the purpose of our church - to further the gospel - to obey our Great Commission?
And NO, we will not be giving this year, rather we will send our love offering to LWF, where they ARE sending out the gospel on a daily basis and they are THANKFUL for support.
I encourage each of you to prayerfully consider where the Lord would have you give your Love offering this and in coming years.

ilovebbc said...

I'm just wondering if you all have noticed that on our offering envelopes that we turn in each week there is a special line just for "World Missions Offering"?

Churchmouse said...

The idea of a prayer chapel really bothers me. Does that imply that you can pray more effectively there? Is this more symbolism over substance? Is it a gemmick of televangelism? (like Oral Roberts and his 'Prayer Tower' in Tulsa.) NBBCOF, is this comment inappropriate?

Bin Wonderin said...

Regarding the "prayer chapel" - I have felt from the beginning that this is a total waste.

Agree. I'll take prayer advice from the Top.

Prayer
5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.


Everyone has access to a closet. We don't need a special building.

phil413 said...

MOM4,
The tradition of giving during the fall began many years ago when many families' source of income was farming. This was the time that many farmers had gathered their crops and sold them. This time was designated to allow them to freely give of their first fruits. I personally think it's a neat tradition. We have gotten away from so many of our traditons I would hate to see another one go by the wayside.
Nass,
The way we give I guess is a personal prefrence. I can remember droping my little burlap bag into the box in front of Dr Rogers and being in prayer all the while. It was a very spritual time for me and my family. Just one of the many great times my family has shared at Bellevue.
JMHO Phil.4:13
David Matlock

ilovebbc said...

I just posted this on another thread in response to another post but the more appropriate place for it might be here.

MKW might be the only one who would care to join me but . . . .

I just drafted a note I think I'll drop in the container tomorrow along with my love offering. If anyone else wants to join me, feel free to copy this and sign your own name and drop it in the slot tomorrow. I expect those retrieving the checks would prefer that we not put our slips of paper in the envelope - just drop it in separately. . . . . .

"I, an active member of Bellevue Baptist Church wish to convey to my Pastor, Steve Gaines my affirmation of him as God’s appointed and God’s anointed Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church. I commit myself to serve God and our Church family under his leadership and to free him up to do the work to which God has called him to do. I demonstrate my support for Pastor Gaines by signing my name to this motion and placing it in the annual Love Offering container in the morning worship service on November 12, 2006."

___________________________
Signature

New BBC Open Forum said...

ilovebbc,

While your heart may be in the right place, your note, I think, would not. This would be no different than the person back in the "Tithes" thread who commented, "I have been putting my tithe envelope in each week with a message such as 'I am withholding my offering until all business of the church has been resolved.'" Both may reflect your opinions about everything that's going on right now, but neither is the time nor the place to express your opinion or to "send a message," regardless of the message, to the pastor or anyone else. Anyone who can't give an offering without making a written "political statement" along with it should just not give -- in my humble opinion.

NASS

Tim said...

NASS,

I agree. Political posturing has been far to prevelant. Suppose that those with concerns also dropped there concerns in. What then, should we gather and count ballots afterward? God forbid. The last thing that is needed is turn an offering receptical into a ballot box.

allofgrace said...

nbbcof, tim,
You both make good points. NBBCOF, I agree with you about filing in front of the church to make an offering..though I think there's nothing inherently wrong with it..I also think whatever we do in church as symbolic or otherwise, we should be careful not to create an atmosphere which has the potential to create pride on the one hand, or unnecessary embarrassment on the other. The Bible is pretty clear about doing such things as fasting, giving, praying for men to see. If we do any of those things for the sake of being seen as "spiritual" in the eyes of men, we've received our reward already. I've seen this type of symbolic gestures used wrongly before...ie: asking the congregation to come to the altar at the end of a service to "vow" to witness to at least 2 people the following week. Should we witness? Of course..but we need to be careful about making presumptive vows before the Lord, plus the motivation for making such vows. People, in their humanity, will sometimes do such things because they don't want anyone around them to think they're less spiritual or committed..wrong motivation. The Bible tells us to not boast of tomorrow..because we don't know what that day will bring.

Tim, I agree 100% about using an offering as an opportunity to make a statement. Offerings, as all acts of worship and obedience are holy unto the Lord, and should be handled as such. Good points.

choice_is_yours said...

Hello,

I would like to post the following on this thread because this thread is about international missions.

Think of how much it costs you to get on the internet. $20 per month? $200/ year? If you are reading these words, then you have the ability to reach non-christians internationally at their blogs.

With no money more than what you already are paying to go onlline and read this, we can put volunteer groups of people on the internet to reach non-Christians in every country. (Then those converts can reach others in the same country, off-line).

This is actually a huge open-door for reaching people in closed societies.

Some supervision is needed to make sure ministry's use of the internet is doctrinally correct and holy (you know what that means on the internet).

There could be sub-groups that focus on non-english language groups. Different theories of witnessing can be tried and the results can be compared online.

What is below is part of something I just posted on another thread. This is about how to witness to a particular international religious group that exists mainly overseas in closed societies. Please allow this to be included on this international missions thread as well in its originally posted location.

Thanks,
Choice


For application to carrying out the Great Commission let's consider the conduct and content of an extra-biblical angelic account.

Consider how you could explain the night Jesus was born to a Muslim. They are familiar with what they call the "Night of Power." That's the night the Koran was "born."

Tell the Muslim about the night Jesus was born. Especially tell about the angel that spoke to the shepherds.

1) Arrival of the angel
2) Fear on the part of the mortal
3) Reassurance from the angel. (Emphasize this).
4) A message
5) A method to test the message. (Emphasize this).
6) Departure of the angel
7) The testing of the message confirms the angel is from God. (Emphasize this).

Then ask the Muslim if that sounds like the "Night of Power." Ask him to tell you the story so that you don't say it wrong and offend him. You'll note the conduct and the message content of the one speaking to Mohammad on the "Night of Power." As he tells the story listen and try to follow using the Luke outline. Especially note parts 3 and 5. Listen for the last part:

7) Mohammad doesn't know how to confirm the anonymous messenger was from God and is in fear all night. Finally he goes to someone he thinks is a Christian for help.

Ask the Muslim if he believes Muslims should follow in Mohammad's footsteps.

Then say to the Muslim, "Mohammad, in a time of spiritual uncertainty, turned to someone he believed was a Christian. You should do like Mohammad in this way."

At this point you have access to all available Christian witnessing tracts and Evangelism Explosion materials. You now have a way to go directly into any of those materials.

ezekiel said...

I guess if we give to missions that no one has ever heard of, or send a few folks out to other countries, we can make the claim we give to missions. Just doing it in a way that no one can really tell how much....

I was recently asked to contribute to a local downtown mission because they were struggling and it did not look good for their long term survival...things were grim...

Then I find out that the church has 25-30 million in the bank....

Why is a mission in our own back yard suffering for lack of funds? Maybe we need to check with them and see if they could use some of our love......

padroc said...

I use to keep a copy of the budget on file but stopped holding on to all that kind of stuff when I learned that the BBC library maintains copies. I recently looked up the Sunday Bulletin for July 27, 2004 to find out the title of the solo sung that morning. "Bow the Knee". The library staff can help with many questions relating to the "who-what-when-where-how and sometimes why" of BBC history.

Dr. Rogers gave an explanation in service one Sunday evening, some years ago, as to why WE, BBC, allot and designate our missions offerings the way we do. This information may be in the Library at BBC. After the Library I think Wayne Vandersteig would be an individual who could help with questions you may have regarding the history and FACTS of BBC missions giving and money allocations. Wayne has been in a leadership role on the missions committee for a number of years. By the way, BBC does give the membership a special opportunity to give to missions each spring when we have our Missions Fair. I believe that this is the only money that is collected and designated to fund the Annie Armstrong and the Lottie Moon missionary efforts from the membership of BBC. In the past this has been explained to the membership from the pulpit prior to making our offerings. Again, I am working from memory but with a long history so all this is to the best of my knowledge and admittedly subject to correction.

Derrick Calcote said...

"What is not freely and joyfully given, God neither needs nor wants."
Dr. Adrian Rogers


Speaking for my wife and myself, we are especially excited about this Love Offering Sunday and are looking forward to freely and joyfully giving to our Lord tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Tim said... By the way congrats to our blog admin. Over 20,000 visits on the counter in just over 2 weeks. You know that means that the 3 or 4 of us have visited 4,000-5,000 times each. Well, plus Mike Bratton. Thanks Mike you have helped reinforce the legitmacy of this site. I knew you were good for something.

Renown and legitimacy are two different animals entirely. I could give examples, but I'm sure that's unnecessary.

Political posturing has been far to prevelant. Suppose that those with concerns also dropped there concerns in. What then, should we gather and count ballots afterward? God forbid. The last thing that is needed is turn an offering receptical into a ballot box.

Agreed, and thank you for you observation.

I'd be interested in your thoughts regarding the so-called "Showdown," as well.

--Mike

Tim said...

Mike,

I believe that the "Showdown" was something that orginated at another web-site. But since you mention it I would prefer water guns at 20 paces. I believe that if we could get the entire chruch involved we would have a pretty good time. But not today, way to cold for that today.

Perhaps on a day like today, we could have a chilli cookoff or a hot cocca contest.

phil413 said...

Tim,

We love your humor! It keeps this blogsite a little more light hearted!

David & Donna Matlock
Phil 4:13

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Oh gracious....wouldn't THAT be a sight! Tim, you are a nut! Thanks for the laughs.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

We will not be contributing to the Love Offering as well. This has nothing to do with tithes, as it is supposed to be above and beyond your regular giving. I was thinking about giving our money to something else instead....maybe to some of the staff who have recently left who have not yet found work elsewhere. I don't know. We will see.

allofgrace said...

Great idea Tim...then afterwards we can all join in a rousing rendition of Purple Haze...oh wait....that's already been done...ok..my snarkiness for the night. Kudos Tim.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Derrick said...

"What is not freely and joyfully given, God neither needs nor wants."
Dr. Adrian Rogers

Speaking for my wife and myself, we are especially excited about this Love Offering Sunday and are looking forward to freely and joyfully giving to our Lord tomorrow."

Derrick...

People are using Dr. Rogers' comments like Scripture....taking them out of context and using them for their own agenda. Dr. Rogers was talking about tithing in general. You make it sound like he is referring to only tithing to Bellevue or the Love Offering when you use it in the context you have been (here and on other blogs, I might add.) He needs and wants anything you freely and joyfully give to anything for His purpose, not just Love Offering. So, with that said, my family and I will be freely and joyfully giving somewhere else where, and I assure you, God still needs it and wants it.

Okay, so, can we please put down the book of Adrianisms and stop using Dr. Rogers' comments to fit our own purpose???? Thank you.

choice_is_yours said...

http://lukesgoodnews.blogspot.com

Surprise: This comment has nothing to do with angels!

Now let's look at anonymous mortals.

I give you Mary:

(chapter 2)
18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.


Mary does a lot of keeping quiet. She doesn't go around saying "Hi, I'm the mother of the messiah, see my baby?"

This is anonymous living.

When Mary and Joseph and Jesus flee to Egypt, they are not going around saying "Our baby is the one Herod is looking for." And again, when they return from Egypt, they don't go around saying "Our son is the promised one." Apparently even their other children were only aware of portions of the flight to Egypt, if at all.

Anonymous said...

Choice, there is no Scripture available for justifying the hate-filled anti-Bellevue attacks generally conducted from the shadows.

"Anonymous living" is one thing.

Anonymous hating is something else entirely.

--Mike

choice_is_yours said...

Mike Bratton said...
Choice, there is no Scripture available for justifying the hate-filled anti-Bellevue attacks generally conducted from the shadows.

"Anonymous living" is one thing.

Anonymous hating is something else entirely.

--Mike

6:36 PM, November 12, 2006

Mike I agree with everything you said. Hold on while I read your words with my "God's love" glasses.



Mike Bratton said...
Choice, there is no Scripture available for justifying the hate-filled ... attacks generally conducted from [some people]

"Anonymous living" is one thing.

Anonymous hating is something else entirely.

--Mike

6:36 PM, November 12, 2006

choice_is_yours said...

(offline)

New BBC Open Forum said...

Hold on, Mike. Choice might be a while...

RM said...

You guys have to be kidding about remaining anonymous. If you're man (woman) enough to write something you should be man (woman) enough to own up to it. Common decency requires that you sign your names.

Tim said...

rm,

I personally believe that it is no importance to any one who I am. You know after all. It's not about me.

RM said...

How did your worship services go today at Bellevue? Many of us have been praying for you and wondered how things turned out.

BR said...

Does anyone know how today's Love Offering compared to years past?

Derrick Calcote said...

RM Said: "How did your worship services go today at Bellevue? Many of us have been praying for you and wondered how things turned out."

Dr. McDonald,

Service was wonderful. In the 11:00 service alone we had well over 20 decisions for Christ.

Personally the Lord blessed me with the privilege of counseling with an 11 year old young man. The love of Jesus shone all over his face.

Thanks for asking and more than that, thanks for praying.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

RM said...

Derrick,

That's great! Perhaps your church is finally turning the corner...

Derrick Calcote said...

RM said: "That's great! Perhaps your church is finally turning the corner..."

The Lord has been very gracious despite the unfortunate conflicts that have been going on. The counseling room has been very busy over the past several months.

An unsaved friend of mine who I was relating this to said, "No such thing as bad publicity, huh?"

My reply was, "Well, I'd prefer to say that what the enemy meant for evil, God is working out for His good."

StumblingServant said...

Derrick, Now that we know how many new folks Bellevue has gotten today, perhaps you could shed some light on how many have recently moved their letter?

MOM4 said...

Stumbling,
I have been made aware that while there are many who are no longer in attendance, that not many have actually moved their letter. EVERYONE I have talked to that is attending worship at other churches are not moving their memberships until the Lord gives them permission to leave. If these people who are seeking the truth and see problems that are not being addressed properly are NOT moving their letters even though many have been told to "leave if they don't like it" , and they are not planning on moving their memberships until the Lord tells them to, then those that are telling them to leave are not working the Lord's will, they just want it their way or they will show us the highway (so to speak.
It also tells me that the Lord is not going to stand for it, He is keeping us there for a reason and even if someone decides to remove us as members, deacons, teachers, lay workers, missionaries or just seat fillers, His people belong where He places them, and to see them driven out is in no way His will.
As stated in Jerimiah 23, the Lord will bring his sheep back into the fold. Please read the passage, especially v1-4.
There is a day of reckoning coming and it is His will that will be done. We will not move our membership until the Lord opens the door. To do so would place US out of His will and that is not a place I desire to be.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I know of three couples (one of them by name, but I won't) who joined Germantown Baptist this morning.

NASS

StumblingServant said...

Mom4,

I completely agree with your on moving one's church membership. I have never been a church "hopper" and never been one to spook and run from a problem.

However I am shocked and saddened at the "money and numbers" mentality that I have been hearing from the Bellevue leadership and deacons.

Nothing of the such is in my Bible, course I might not have one of those new-fangled Rick Warren editions (a joke).

Perhaps if the leadership of Bellevue is that interested in a numbers game they should install turnstiles at the entrance and exit doors.

Anonymous said...

Have a deacon share with you the report they got last Sunday. Ask about giving and attendance.

choice_is_yours said...

Luke 2:21-52 (King James Version)

21And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

22And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;

23(As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)

24And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

25And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

26And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

27And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

28Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

29Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

30For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

31Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

32A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

33And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

34And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

35(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

36And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

37And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

38And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

39And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.

40And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

41Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.

42And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

43And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.

44But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.

45And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

46And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

47And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

48And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

49And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

50And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

51And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

choice_is_yours said...

Moderator, after first planning to politely turn down your request for an email, I have decided I will email you.

I generally don't like to email people when I am blogging anonymously because it reveals my i.p. address to the recipient. (it's in the header).

I may not email today, though.

http://www.ip2location.com/?=gip

If you want to know your own i.p. address try the above url.


As a community service, I believe that you should post a disclosure in the margin area of your blog. I know other blogs don't do this, but we are Christians and we should hold ourselves to a higher standard than the rest of the blogs. We are all about transparency. There are many people posting here who are new to the ways on the Internet.

And even those of us who have been around awhile run into new things and other people's websites (i.e. blogger.com) that do not operate as claimed. I know just last night I tried to do something here on blogger (have you had this happen to you?) and it appeared to work. When I checked this morning I found out it didn't.

Thanks,
Choice

choice_is_yours said...

Comment on today's text.

Two more holy non-Christians. Both in the temple area. We're up to six?

Jesus is God incarnate.

Consider that Jesus did not go around telling people, "Hi, I'm the son of God," until after his ministry began.

This was anonymous living.

RM said...

Since you guys have seen fit to publish the deacons' personal information and email addresses I would think it is only appropriate that you provide the same about yourself when you write on here. Most pastors I know throw away anonymous letters and emails so that's probably what's happening here. I can't understand why you wouldn't sign your real name and email address on something you have written.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

RM said...

"Since you guys have seen fit to publish the deacons' personal information and email addresses I would think it is only appropriate that you provide the same about yourself when you write on here. Most pastors I know throw away anonymous letters and emails so that's probably what's happening here. I can't understand why you wouldn't sign your real name and email address on something you have written."

I'm sorry, RM, but where have we "seen fit to publish the deacons' personal information and email addresses?" Oh, you must be referring to the SB site which is, as stated numerous times PREVIOUSLY, NOT affiliated with this blog. Should there be a disclaimer on the front page?? Also, if I were to write a letter to Dr. Gaines (as I have before) I would MOST certainly sign my name, however, a blog is not personal mail, hence the reason we don't feel compelled to sign our name and give out personal information. By the way, if I actually signed my name, how in the world would you possibly know that was actually my real name??? Remember, I'm Beulah Land! Can you disprove it?

choice_is_yours said...

RM,
God bless you. You take the trouble to post here from another part of the country. And you even have a few minutes to participate in this study. I have to say that you are the most well respected person who has contributed to this study so far.

Please comment at any time.

If you have an opportunity, please explain to me about these verses:

46And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

47And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.


Jesus had all the "email addresses" of all of these learned doctors in the temple. They were public figures who kept regular public business hours and contact information available (much like a deacon in a church). None of them knew Jesus's real identity: the messiah, the son of God.

I doubt if any of them even knew what Jesus's temporal identity was or that he was away from his Narareth parents. Since he did not have a "phD" like they did, they most likely did not ask his name.

Why didn't they continue to seek him out in Nazareth after becoming aware of his wisdom?

New BBC Open Forum said...

choice wrote:

"As a community service, I believe that you should post a disclosure in the margin area of your blog."

If I had a clue what you were talking about, I'd consider it. But I don't. Could you clarify?

Thanks,

NBBCOF

Tim said...

stillwaitingandwatching,

Your response to "rm" was well stated. In regard to my personal information, I would like to add. I have seen and witnessed, and there are many within the discussions of this blog also that can say the same, that those with opposing views have been treated horribly. For the sake of my family I have maintained myself to be "Tim - the tool man - Taylor". My wife and my children should not have to be subjected to ridicule, because they have a husband and father that will not compromise his principles. Never the less, should it come to the point, that my identity must be known for my voice to be heard, it will be revealed. Until I feel that it is at that point, I will remain as I am. I assure you that I am no one of any signifigance, just a concerned layman.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Thank you, Tim.

I would also like to add, I know Mike Bratton personally. He knows who the real person behind the name is as well. If he is talking to those who are anonymous with this "tone" why would I allow myself to be spoken to in this way in person? Sorry, I am not a glutton for punishment.

New BBC Open Forum said...

rm wrote:

"Since you guys have seen fit to publish the deacons' personal information and email addresses I would think it is only appropriate that you provide the same about yourself when you write on here."

I think I've repeated this ad nauseum, but once again, "we guys" are not "savingbellevue.com." The deacons' e-mail addresses are on that site, not this one. "We" didn't publish the "infamous" photo, and "we" didn't coin the phrase "showdown." "They" are not "we," nor "we" "they." Do "we" all have that straight now?

As for the second part of what you wrote (which you've repeated ad nauseum), ditto what Tim said. I could call myself "Little Mary Sunshine," for what it's worth -- which isn't much since you wouldn't know me from Adam anyway, nor would you know if I was signing my "real" name or not. Actually, I think I've forgotten my real name!

This forum was set up (by myself, but it's not about me) to provide a place where people can come and discuss the issues facing BBC in a civil and respectful manner and can maintain their anonymity at the same time. All that's required is that everyone register with a unique screen name which avoids the confusion of having more than one "anonymous" person post comments. As "blogmaster" I have no idea who anyone is. The only information I get from the site meter is the cities visitors are surfing from, and even that doesn't tell me where any specific person is. It's simply a list of the most recent locations from which people viewed the site, not who they were (by name or screen name). All it would tell me is, for example, we've had 12 people surfing from Memphis, 2 from Cordova, 1 from Germantown, 1 from Podunk, Alabama, etc. It doesn't give me any other personal information, but even if it did, I wouldn't care about that or divulge anyone's personal information. As someone said, this is about ideas and issues, not personalities.

Everyone, please don't let choice's information make you afraid to post. All that tells you is the city someone is posting from, not your street address or name. Everyone is safe posting here as well as e-mailing me at the address on my profile page.

Is this the appropriate disclaimer?

NBBCOF

Tim said...

NBBCOF,

You left out that NBBCOF is alais NASS and also that "Mike Bratton" is "Mike Bratton". Beyond that I think that covers it.

1john3 said...

In the 12 year we had been BBC members, we have never seen such a poor turn-out on Love Offering Sundays. It has been always pack full and members are cheerful in giving.The services were always glorius and Jesus was truly honored. Yesterday was a drastic different. Why? From the Choir, or front, I should say, more than half of the seats are empty on both services. 11 o'clock services is worse than 9:30's. What happened? Where are our members? They all turned unfaithful? Or is there truth with the allegations. We began to believe there are. This is certainly not about one or even 20 members who are not happy with the leadership, and are questioning with what is wrong with our beloved Bellevue. The sanctuary seats about 8,000. If more than half are empty, for both services, you are talking about more than 8,000 members are having problems in giving to our 2006's Love Offering. This proof that members are no longer trust our leaderships. We believe our leaders prioty are not in line with God's.

Anonymous said...

I am simply amazed at this entire thread and that it was even started in the first place. Bellevue does so much through Missions. MUCH more than most churches. I just do not get your point about Lottie Moon offering. That is all that many churches can do and that is great. Bellevue can give to them and MUCH more and that is what we do. Bellevue chooses to give most of their missions money in different ways. We can do things most churches cannot. We are very blessed.

I have no idea why anyone would want to raise false doubts that would possibly keep someone from giving to the 2006 Love offering.

Tim said...

HisServant,

False doubts would imply that there is something that is not true. Would you care to elaborate?

choice_is_yours said...

(This is a long post with lots of topics).

Thank you NBBCOF/NASS.

You have done very very very very VERY well. I'm not trying to hurt traffic flow, but this is one of my principles which is making sure that people know the limits of anonymity so that they can be wise.

You are not able to get more accurate than suburb name and maybe zip code.

However, if someone uses their work compupter the domain name/isp may be the actual employer.

Example: On another blog ("old" bbc forum), I once saw the visitor printout that said "autozone.com" or "fedex.com". Those were people who were at work. But just in those sepcific cases.

As long as all you do is surf you are more anonymous. However if you post, then there is a time stamp associated with your message that can SOMETIMES be connected with the visit statistics. Thus, with some digging, their can be a connection between words posted and a company name. But only in specific cases.

Find out if you are one of those cases by "reverse tracing" yourself (url below).

The specific tool used by this blog is www.sitemeter.com and anyone interested can see a demo by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the NBBCOF home page that counts visits.

We just need to be good stewards of people's anonymity if they are trusting us with that information.

People, just use common sense. If you were at a gas station on appling road and someone said they were from Bellevue and asked for a phone number, even if they looked like a nice person, would you give it? In the same way, be careful about sending emails back and forth to people you meet here.

There's been a lot of hostility and nothing less than a threat to publicly destroy posters (the infamous anonymous bear story, told sincerely with love). Of course the same people who threaten to destory also ask for names (that would avail a phone book search to get addresses).

There are documented cases of people "switching sides" and posting anonymously. Deacon Calcote was a victim of impersonation/forgery when someone imitating his user name then posting things that he did not authorize.

Someone a while back was saying that they had compared the "sentence structure" of westtnbarrister and believed that they knew his real identity by comparing that struture to known available writing samples of someone else.

But that's a useless technique anyway because anyone who knows how to analyze writing like that also knows how to fraudulently create new documents written using the same "style" and forge people's writing style.

That's the worst kind of thing that could have been done to Deacon Calcote.

Just in the past few days it was suggested that someone pretended to disagree with Mike Bratton, then log in as i.d. "one member" and then say things to "raise the ire" of Mike Bratton. This was apparently an effort to lower this blog's level of discourse to mud slinging.

I do disavow the idea of a "show down." There is way too much "brinkmanship" going on in all this. We are all failing to remember that God is soveriegn and he just expects us to walk gracefully through this time of trouble.

If the deacons want to sign something let them. They are adults. We are allowed to say whether we would sign if we were deacons (I'm not saying I'm not a deacon or on staff). But nondeacons should not judge deacons and vice versa. Each of us knows our situation better than anyone else.

There is nothing wrong with giving our opinion as long as we do it without hatred or gossip. Just speak with beauty. Jesus always did.

Those of you who are new to internet discourse need to understand that a lot of what you see is smokescreen.

Stick to the Bible. That's my guidance.

I know from working at non-christian websites I've had non-christians try to discredit me so many ways to keep the gospel message from going out.

Just keep close to scripture with your comments. That's the safest place to be in life including while in the internet.

Here's how to reverse trace any i.p. address...

reverse trace

Just put the i.p. address from the header of someone's email in there. For fun trace your auntie Beulah land (grin).

I offer this information to everyone because there has been hostility from both sides of this debate. Please everyone be careful.

And we should all celebrate the 20 new believers from Sunday. And there should be a celebration for how we just witnessed to a lost person here on this blog. Tim, good job with that, brother!

There is no such thing as bad publicity.

And what the enemy has been meaning for evil is being turned to good.

Wise words Deacon Calcote! Just smile when you say them because we are all on the same "side"... Jesus's!

Praise Him!

Choice

choice_is_yours said...

On another thread, I've asked that questions about Mike Bratton's online witnessing skills be directed to me.

I'm not going to review the questions that he was asked directly (before my request). However there was an exchange on the topic of "tone" in internet discourse and I want to comment upon.

It can be very difficult to correctly communicate tone through written dialogue in these online environments.

It is even harder to "prove" a person had a specific tone intended.

I mentioned above how some people were pretending to be on a "side" that they were not on.

Please, don't forget that sometimes people meant something to be funny. Jokes are an art, and we all know times when we've said somehting meant in jest that was not taken in jest. It can cause a lot of unnecesary misunderstanding and even emotional responses.

That reminds me one time of a situation where someone posted something anonymously to me which they apparently thought was a funny joke.

It went right over my head.

I thought it was meant literally, and on that level it appeared to be very hostile.

So for whatever that might be worth, just realize that if something seems hostile, it may actually have been meant as a joke.


Just more tips on how to keep tempers down in this place.

peace,
Choice.

choice_is_yours said...

Also don't forget that a large number of people have passed through here who may make a random comment just to be troublesome then never come back.

These kinds of comments have popped up against "either side" and have not been helpful.

Just let nothing offend you. Never respond "because that made me mad." That should always be a little warning bell for you to NOT post at all until you have stopped being offended.

I give all this advice, and I'm expecting everyone reading to hold me accountable to all this...

Anonymous said...

stillwaitingandwatching said...
Thank you, Tim.

I would also like to add, I know Mike Bratton personally. He knows who the real person behind the name is as well. If he is talking to those who are anonymous with this "tone" why would I allow myself to be spoken to in this way in person? Sorry, I am not a glutton for punishment.

11:56 AM, November 13, 2006


Apologies for the lateness of the reply.

No, in truth I don't know the secret identity of anyone posting under a fake name--and that includes "stillwaitingandwatching," whoever you are.

I've known Karen for a long time, and Derrick Calcote as well. But I have yet to know any in the ranks of the psuedonymous; "still," if you know me at all you know this "tone" business isn't based in fact, but is merely a diversion.

--Mike

choice_is_yours said...

Brother Mike,
I've asked that questions on that topic come to me because you were offering to generously help me tell some people the gospel on line.

Please disregard those questions since nobody has raised them again.

Thanks again for your reply of interest in witnessing online.

You and I are used to non-Christians online and the ways they try to discredit us when we are presenting the gospel online. You and I have two different styles, and I know yours would work in many cases where mine would not.

I can think of several non-christians right now who need to be put in a blog with you to hear the gospel your way in your tone.

Praise God for the way he has made each of us unique and special in his eyes :)

I am blessed to have the chance to work with you.

Choice

New BBC Open Forum said...

choice,

The example you referred to on the OLD BBCOF about being able to identify someone's employer was a result of the old BBCOF blogmaster, God rest his soul, not changing the settings in sitemeter.com from public viewing to private. I reset those options immediately upon signing into their site and setting up the meter on this blog. Therefore, I and only I can view that information. Even then it doesn't tell me who works for FedEx, for example. I don't know anyone who works for FedEx or where anyone else works, so it doesn't matter. Again, all I see is a list of recent visitors to the site and the cities they're in. I have no way of matching up any visitor on that list with a screen name.

So EVERYONE, you're perfectly secure visiting and posting here. No one's personal information is in jeopardy. Please continue as usual... well, maybe tone it down a bit, if you get my drift, but don't worry about your "cover" being blown. You're still identified only by your screen name and whether or not you choose to sign your real name -- which nobody is being asked to do... at least not by me.

Anonymous said...

I am a new blogger. I decided to joint in because I do have concerns about our church and about the direction our church is heading. I am a Bellevue member. I am simple going to voice my concerns and opinions on certain issues. I am not asking anyone to reply to my posting. I just want Bellevue members to know of these concerns. I will began posting my concerns in the coming days. I am not going to be critical, but just to voice my concerns. Thank You.

choice_is_yours said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
choice,

The example you referred to on the OLD BBCOF about being able to identify someone's employer was a result of the old BBCOF blogmaster, ...not changing the settings in sitemeter.com from public viewing to private. I reset those options immediately upon signing into their site and setting up the meter on this blog. Therefore, I and only I can view that information. Even then it doesn't tell me who works for FedEx, for example. I don't know anyone who works for FedEx or where anyone else works, so it doesn't matter. Again, all I see is a list of recent visitors to the site and the cities they're in. I have no way of matching up any visitor on that list with a screen name.

So EVERYONE, you're perfectly secure visiting and posting here. No one's personal information is in jeopardy. Please continue as usual... well, maybe tone it down a bit, if you get my drift, but don't worry about your "cover" being blown. You're still identified only by your screen name and whether or not you choose to sign your real name -- which nobody is being asked to do... at least not by me.

5:40 PM, November 13, 2006



NASS/NBBCOF,

Thank you for re-phrasing what I said. It has been a long and busy month for you. I am simply making sure that people who have come for the first time (like hisservant) since we transitioned to this new blog are aware.

There are a lot of BBC people who come here and who have never ever been to a blog or anything like a blog before this one.

And unfortunately there are people ("bears") taking advantage of the situation.

I am not trying to negatively reflect on you.

You have kept this place running with few criticisms from anyone.

I'm probably your biggest critic, but I'm also one of your bigger fans.

Sorry about the invite from my blog last night that contained inaccurate instructions.

blogger.com "lied" to me.

It clearly says,

"Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author."

It saying that right now!

Anyway, enough excuses, please accept my apologies.

I will email you.

choice_is_yours said...

jchking,

Welcome!

New BBC Open Forum said...

jchking,

Ditto what "choice" said!

phil413 said...

Choice,
You said,
"If the deacons want to sign something let them. They are adults. We are allowed to say whether we would sign if we were deacons (I'm not saying I'm not a deacon or on staff). But nondeacons should not judge deacons and vice versa. Each of us knows our situation better than anyone else."
Do you not think that if the word REQUIRED had not been used by Chuck Taylor that this might be viewed differently. This is not a free will act it is a requirement.This administration has the appearance of being a dictatorship and many, including myself, don't like it.
Phil. 4:13
David Matlock

Anonymous said...

My concern No. 1;
Is a Prayer House or building really needed? I know that God is everywhere, and I can talk to him anytime, anywhere. I can talk to him in my house, in my car, in my bathroom, or wherever I am. My thought is that the money that we are planning to use to build this building is maybe better to be spent on direct ministries, and on mission fields. People in third world countries can save souls in their hut churches. In my opinion, the millions of dollars to be spent to build this Prayer building, in turn, can be used to send many thousands of Bellevue members who wanted to go to these third world countries to build hut churches for the local villages to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. Many members would have gone if they are given the air tickets to go. Let's say the air ticket and expenses for a 10 days mission trip cost $3,000.00 to Africa, then the estimated $3,000,000.00 budget for this building can be used to send 1,000 members into 1,000 different villages and build 1,000 hut churches. Just say each hut church will result to save 100 souls, this means 100,000 souls will be saved as a total. Over time, the numbers of soul saved will be multiplied. In my opinion, the money is better spent to save souls than to have a nice building so that we can go and pray once a while when we feel like to pray. I hope this do make sense, but this is just my opinion about the Prayer building.

choice_is_yours said...

jchking,

I posted similarly above:

Hello,

I would like to post the following on this thread because this thread is about international missions.

Think of how much it costs you to get on the internet. $20 per month? $200/ year? If you are reading these words, then you have the ability to reach non-christians internationally at their blogs.

With no money more than what you already are paying to go onlline and read this, we can put volunteer groups of people on the internet to reach non-Christians in every country. (Then those converts can reach others in the same country, off-line).

This is actually a huge open-door for reaching people in closed societies.

Some supervision is needed to make sure ministry's use of the internet is doctrinally correct and holy (you know what that means on the internet).

There could be sub-groups that focus on non-english language groups. Different theories of witnessing can be tried and the results can be compared online.

choice_is_yours said...

I want to post a link to a power point presentation that approaches the topic above in the 7:01 PM, November 13, 2006 comment.

Maybe later this week.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have an opinion on the 25,000.00 that Bellevue recently gave to the First United Methodist Church of Memphis? They are pro-abortion and pro-homosexual. I'm sure their pastor, Rev. Martha B. Wagley appreciated our financial support. If you have questions, ask Phil Weatherwax about it. He delivered the check!

StumblingServant said...

Psalm 43:3

They might have some faults, but I don't feel we are in the position to penalize/judge them because of them.

I would hope that they would not judge Bellevue for it's apparent faults, either.

How can Bellevue be harmed by doing the right thing? Let's just let God sort out the judgement.

I think the donation is a wonderful sign of support for an organization that has a history of helping the people of Memphis in Christ's name.

With the amount of $$$ Bellevue has, I wish we would have given them more. I don't think we would miss it, but I'll bet they are prayerfully grateful.

ezekiel said...

Folks outside church may feel that we are being a little less than giving, maybe even a little insulting like throwing pennies at the poor?

On a lighter note, I would trade 2 of those Methodists for Mike Bratton. 3 for Phil Weatherwax. :)

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Unbelieveable that they would give that kind of money to a church that has a woman pastor, a church that is pro-homosexual,for same-sex marriage, and pro-abortion. I understand that it burned, however, that church's insurance is said to be completely covering their rebuild? What is the money for??? Doesn't BBC, or better yet, DIDN'T, BBC stand against the things that First United Methodist stands for? What if it was First Congregational that burned? What if it was the Mormon Tabernacle? What about the Buddist Temple??? Where do you draw the line. Seems like BBC just blurred whatever line was drawn when they delivered that check.

It is appalling that BBC would offer that kind of money while giving crumbs to other ministries in Memphis that are pro-life or ministries that help people come out of the homosexual lifestyle.

Where is our church going, Brother Steve????????

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Let me also add, if Brother Steve wanted to contribute to First United to help with their rebuild, why not take up an offering and let people who would want to give for that specific purpose give, and those who didn't feel like they should, shouldn't??? Not, just writing out a check with money given by people who would be opposed to giving to them???

StumblingServant said...

SWAW

OK, Then justify the over half-million $ gift to Evangelical Christian School?

Not a rumor a documented by IRS forms fact.

StumblingServant said...

Also, with a glut of $25-30 million sitting in a bank account, it could be said that Bellevue is giving precious little to ANY causes or ministries deservant or not.

youthmomma said...

I agree with SW&W that there should have been a gift (a real love offering) from those that want to give, not just a check from our "stash". It probably would have been more money too. I understand why some would want to give to this, but we didn't have a choice. I thought our church stood against many of the things this church stands for. What's going on? I would have been upset over this even if all of the other things weren't going on.

ezekiel said...

I sure am glad the woman at the well met JESUS instead of some of my Baptist brothers......

ezekiel said...

youthmom,

Instead of focusing on what our church is against, why can't we focus on what our church is for.

They'll know we are Christians from our Love.

It's the ministry, not the money.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Ezekiel,

The woman at the well was a sinner. Jesus offered her salvation and told her to go and sin no more.

First United Methodist Church and their pastor claim themselves to be Christians and yet staunchly support things that are diametrically opposed to Scripture.

Surely you see the difference. Bellevue has historically taken a strong stance against abortion and homosexuality. Our former Pastor took a heroic stand to not compromise for the sake of unity. Dr. Gaines has preached against abortion from the pulpit. By giving tithe money to help a church who takes stands for the things we oppose, did Dr. Gaines not compromise for the sake of unity in the community???

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Also, Ezekiel, the Scriptures speak strongly to those who profess to be Christians and yet approve things that he detests; i.e. homosexuality and abortion.

youthmomma said...

You said it much better than I could have SW&W!

StumblingServant said...

How does showing support for a congregation in need automatically mean we condone everything they do? Do we condone everything that everyone that we donate money to does? Do we "check them out?" I feel that we could find any excuse to not help people out if we look hard enough.

Maybe that's why there's such a glut of money in our savings account.

Looks like we probably should have spent some of that money down there before they got so "ungodly".

I believe that these people can also be shown the light and I believe that Bellevue can help in leading them there.

And if $25,000 can open the door to their enlightment, what better use of the money.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

The point is, is that BBC used TITHE money, that *I* gave, for a church that *I* veheminently oppose! They COULD have taken up a love offering so, YOU could give and *I* could not.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

And, for the record, this is most definately not a church in need. Their insurance is covering ALL of their rebuilding expenses. The United Methodist church denominatino owns that prroperty, not the local church. So what is the local church in need of exactly?

StumblingServant said...

Ok, If it makes you feel better, lets just say that they gave "my" money and none of "yours".

Maybe we should keep your money separate until you can come up with a worthy cause that you think your money should support.

But I think you'll find that we gave our money to the Lord and the money given to this church was the Lord's money for the Lord's work.

StumblingServant said...

SW&W

Sounds like they need our love and support.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Yes, a worthy cause would be organizations that do not support the murder of unborn babies and the sinful act of homosexuality. I am sorry you feel your money should go to support churches that support killing babies and homosexuality.

BBC did NOT give money to the Lord...they gave money to a LIBERAL CHURCH THAT BURNED! (not yelling, added for emphasis) Am I really having this conversation with a member of BBC??? If I am, Lord have mercy!!!

Karen said...

stumblingservant,

I agree with youthmom and SW&W - this was a personal choice by Steve Gaines; it was never presented to the church and that is wrong. We just gave for our 2006 Love Offering (well, I didn't)with money being designated for IMPACT ministries, Moriah House is being built; just 2 examples of projects that BBC has a vested interest in. Why was this gift to the Methodist Church not brought up for approval to the congregation? I might have given freely for the humanitarian aspect of things. But not having that option really makes me wonder how the rest of our money is being spent without our consent.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

stumblingservant said:

Maybe we should keep your money separate until you can come up with a worthy cause that you think your money should support.


Actually, I don't need to "come up with" any worthy causes. They are already out there. Apparently, you have no clue they exist and, therefore, are not supporting them. I still cannot believe I am having this conversation with a Christian....do you go to First Church??

ezekiel said...

sw&w.........

Please see the attached link before you continue telling us that Methodist support Homosexuality.....

http://archives.umc.org/interior.asp?mid=1728

Homosexual persons no less than heterosexual persons are individuals of sacred worth. All persons need the ministry and guidance of the church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching. We affirm that God's grace is available to all, and we will seek to live together in Christian community. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.1

I will leave it up to you to do the research on the abotion issue, heaven forbid we have any of those among us.....

How can you sit and condem a sinner? Are you not one of us?

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Ezekiel,

I am not saying that ALL Methodists support homosexuality and abortion. I have some information that I will submit to you regarding Martha Wagley and this particular church. When I can get to it, I will post it here.

AND, I resent you saying "How can you sit and condem a sinner? Are you not one of us?" Where have I condemned ANYONE?? Are you implying that I don't think I am a sinner. I have not personally attacked you in this discussion. I resent you personally attacking me. And yes, what you put was a personal attack.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Actually, you know what, Ezekiel, somethings are coming into focus as I read your responses here and remember some things you have said in previous threads. It is clear that my stance on this issue is lost on you and I will not be discussing this any further. I have made my case clear, so there's nothing more for me to say.

StumblingServant said...

youthmamma & SWAW

I can't believe you're a member of Bellevue, filled with as much hate as you appear to be.

Do you think you can hate people enough and force them to change their ways?

Is this biblical?

Amazing.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

I will not even comment on this. Your response is absurd stumblngservant.

StumblingServant said...

SWAW

Also, I support BBC, and various other charities that I feel are worthy. Are you saying that BBC is not a worthy cause?

stillwaitingandwatching said...

stumblingservant,

Really, I am just curious to know, is Life Choices or Love in Action one of those various other charities that you feel are worthy? I am just wondering for wondering's sake.

Thanks.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

stumblingservant said...

"Are you saying that BBC is not a worthy cause?"

Where in the world do you possibly get that from what I said? Do the letters I type create some sort of cryptic message I do not know about? Please.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

You know what....I really don't have time to waste arguing homosexuality with other Christians. This is something that is obviously not convicting to you or Exekiel. I will not waste my time. I have stated my position. It is not coming from hate. I just believe it is absolutely wrong for a church to support something God hates. You, two, apparently do not feel that way. I will no longer be responding to either of your posts....so....talk among yourselves.

And, by the way, stumblingservant, the people that know me that are reading this blog are laughing at you calling me hateful.

StumblingServant said...

SWAW

I just don't believe you can hate people to Jesus.

Please don't hate. I'll pray for you, OK.

Anonymous said...

Tell me, how much money does 'long-range planning' cost. How many millions does it take to plan? Sounds like a gimmick to me...

Anonymous said...

Averagejoe,

I think this question could probably be answered best by deacon Jeff Arnold, Fisher and Arnold Engineering of Memphis. I believe he's on the committee and since he has an engineering and planning company he should be able to assist you in how much planning should cost.

Anonymous said...

Martin Luther refers to Matthew 18

Address to the Christian Nobility
of the German Nation
(1520)

The Romanists have, with great adroitness, drawn three walls round themselves, with which they have hitherto protected themselves, so that no one could reform them, whereby all Christendom has fallen terribly.
First, if pressed by the temporal power, they have affirmed and maintained that the temporal power has no jurisdiction over them, but, on the contrary, that the spiritual power is above the temporal.

Secondly, if it were proposed to admonish them with the Scriptures, they objected that no one may interpret the Scriptures but the Pope.

Thirdly, if they are threatened with a council, they pretend that no one may call a council but the Pope ...

Now may God help us, and give us one of those trumpets that overthrew the walls of Jericho, so that we may blow down these walls of straw and paper, and that we may set free our Christian rods for the chastisement of sin, and expose the craft and deceit of the devil, so that we may amend ourselves by punishment and again obtain God's favour.

.... The third wall falls of itself, as soon as the first two have fallen; for if the Pope acts contrary to the Scriptures, we are bound to stand by the Scriptures to punish and to constrain him, according to Christ's commandment . 'tell it unto the Church' (Matt. xviii. 15-17). . . . If then I am to accuse him before the Church, I must collect the Church together. . . .Therefore when need requires, and the Pope is a cause of offence to Christendom, in these cases whoever can best do so, as a faithful member of the whole body, must do what he can to procure a true free council.