Sunday, November 12, 2006

New Deacon Loyalty Pledge Thread

The old "Deacon Loyalty Pledge" thread has gotten too long and drifted off topic, so please continue that discussion here. And please remember to be civil and respectful in your comments.

293 comments:

1 – 200 of 293   Newer›   Newest»
Tim said...

Yes, let's return to the topic. This issue is being approached as if the deacons loyalty belonged to the pastor. The simple fact of the matter is that the deacons loyalty belongs to the congregation and this seems to be something that they have forgotten.

Tim said...

mkw,

Acts 6:1-3
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Gre'cians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
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 Biblical formation of the deacon body. In another thread I expounded on this to some extent and will only point out that the "serve tables" mentioned at the end of verse 2. Does not refer to men that were appointed the task of being waiters. It is refering to money tables as those in the temple. This is the principle that is behind the deacon body handling the financial affairs of the church. They are to be selected by the church and accountable to the church.

Tim said...

mkw,

If you have not seen as well, there was a public apology that I issued at the end of the first thread of topic. It has been something seriously lacking in our church. But when I am wrong or have wronged another, I do make a honest attempt to make it right. It was not a hollow apology that included the words "itty-bitty" or "my heart was in the right place" rather it was sincere.

Anonymous said...

Brother deacons,

Please understand that for you to sign and stand in support of Steve Gaines is to stand against those who are hurting and lost. It is an unfortunate reality but you are picking sides by signing and that is not going to aid in healing and bringing in the scattered sheep. We do not need a show of force, we need a show of love. And the best way to do that is to seek out the lost sheep. Listen to them. Seek to understand and walk with them. I am not asking you to be disloyal to Steve Gaines or to walk away from him. I am asking you to seek out the lost sheep as the good Shepherd would do. Bring us back together.

Ask, seek, knock, He will make Himself clear to you. Seek and you will find.


Luke 11:9-10
9 "And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.
10 "For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.
(NAS)


Luke 15:1-10
1 Now all the tax-gatherers and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.
2 And both the Pharisees and the scribes {began} to grumble, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."
3 And He told them this parable, saying,
4 "What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?
5 "And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 "And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'
7 "I tell you that in the same way, there will be {more} joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
8 "Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?
9 "And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!'
10 "In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
(NAS)

Tim said...

Andrew,

Your comments are beautiful and true. Those of us that have had concerns have been beat enough. No one and I repeat no one would put themselves thru this miserable mess if their concerns were not real. Please note the word "real", it does not mean that they have all been confirmed, but the vast majority have not been properly dismissed either. It is in fact our deacon body that has refused to investigate, until they were no longer able to deny that the problems were not going to disappear, and then made only a token attempt to investigate. What has amazed me so in this entire fiasco, is that our deacon body with a few exceptions will not stand up, determine the truth and then report it as it is without a political spin.

New BBC Open Forum said...

andrew,

A week or so ago you posted an open letter you'd written to Dr. Gaines. I was just wondering if you'd received a reply.

NASS

Anonymous said...

WTB - check your inbox

Tim - I ernestly pray our men will take a stand. I have to believe they are there stuggling and want to do the right thing.

NASS - I have not heard anything back.

Good night to all.

allofgrace said...

I was wondering if anyone has ever seen this type of thing done before...deacons signing motions of support for a pastor?

allofgrace said...

Let me reword...deacons being REQUIRED to sign such.

ezekiel said...

MKW.......

Their ministry is to the congregation, their loyalty belongs to Jesus Christ.

And shouldn't that ministry be consistent with Jesus's teaching following His commandments the chief of which is to love one another?

Why then are we signing loyalty statements to the Pastor? Why dont you sign one to the congregation?

LibertyInChrist said...

For more insight on Loyalty Pledges, listen to Gil Rugh's sermon on Promise Keeper Pledges:

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sermonID=9806123139

Karen said...

I learned yesterday that there were deacons at that meeting that did not sign the pledge and walked out of the meeting. Can a deacon confirm this for me so I feel that I am passing along correct and true information. Thanks!

I went to the communication committe's "get together" yesterday. My mother and I spoke with Steve Tucker who said he will be working specifically with the choir on their issues. Since mom is in the choir, this was a good person for us to talk to. Steve said that the choir will be meeting in groups of 20 or so with the communciations committee. He said the choir will not be signing loyalty oaths or signing anything for that matter. I will leave Bellevue if they are required to sign something - that means a deacon lied to my face and that's all it will take for me to be done.

I have more to write on my meeting, but I think it's off topic. NASS, will you start another thread so I can post there.

Thanks! And have a great day!

Karen

cjesusnme said...

Karen,

looking forward to hearing what you learned. We have spoken with Steve Tucker as well. I'm interested to see if you were told the same thing.

Tim said...

ezekiel,

Thank you for rephrasing what I had said. What you had written was the intention of what I was trying to point out. I believe that my original comments concerning the loyalty pledge did a much better job of it however.

Tim said...

mkw,

I copied this from another post on another thread

The serving of tables that is refered to in Acts 6:3 is the same (wording) 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.

I do not have the confidence to rely upon my own interpretation but conidering the source of these commentaries and their agreement on this subject believe that they were correct.

Karen said...

Ok, I'll post my meeting notes here:

Mom and I received a 10-page handout with lots of questions and answers on it. I have a copy and I've scanned a copy (but I can't get it to work right now) and I'm sure there are more copies floating around at BBC. I was really disappointed with the turnout I saw at the "get together". I told NASS last night via email that I only saw about 6 people speaking with committe members. People, that is sad! I think this was our opportunity to show how many people are hurting and confused by the leadership at BBC, and now they have "ammunition" that says there are only a handful of people who are discontent. If you're going to complain or discuss issues on a blog, but not have the courage or conviction to come face-to-face with someone who is actually answering questions, then you need to get out of the fight. I'm not convinced that the answers I received yesterday were truth, but I now have a "wait and see" attitude about it. I will know when I've been lied to and will be able to make any decisions I need to make. I really am disppointed at the turnout.

Did you know that Steve Gaines preaches on Thursday nights at i2? I thought that there was a preacher for that group, but apparantly according to Steve Tucker, that preacher took another job and now Steve preaches. Why does SG do that and then not preach on Wednesday night? You'd think that if he wanted to meet with committees and whatever, whoever, that he would do that on Thursdays. Everything about that not preaching on Wednesdays is just shady to me. Steve did not indicate if the i2 preaching was just for the interim or if it would continue forever.

Steve Tucker indicated that the way things were handled with Dr. Whitmire were handled badly, but really there was no way to go back in time and change things. My mother and I promised Steve that we would try to dispel any rumors and work toward reconcilliation. We are in "wait and see" mode to make sure what Steve Tucker s

I also learned yesterday (not from Steve, but my mom) that David Smith and the Administration ministers (David, Bryson (?) McQuiston and 2 executive/administrative secretaries) were told to "find something to do" when Steve arrived and that David was required to report to Mark D. each week - about what I don't know. Then, they demoted Mr. McQuiston and David Smith (I don't know what happened to the secretaries.)

Also, did you know that SG's car is a perk for him? I know that Jimmy Foster and Schilling have gave cars to Dr. Rogers over the years, but I didn't know that the church was paying for it. I know that his car was worked on at an aftermarket car place here in town, but I can't substatiate it because I can't get the bill for it. A friend of mine works at this car place and pointed the SUV out to me (with no prompting from me) and told me "we're doing about $40,000 in improvements to that new Bellevue guy's car). He didn't know I go to Bellevue, so why would he make that up.

Most of this is way off topic so if NASS wants to move it, please do.

Thanks, Karen

Anonymous said...

The pledge is currently being revised to be a backing of the pastor and not a pledge. This would allow for the deacons to still have "concerns" or "questions".

Reportedly , according to the previous pastor, the deacons are to be the pastor's pastor and are to hold the pastor accountable and address the pastor directly about any concerns. ( thus no other accountablilty is in place)

So the riddle is, are the deacons really under or are they over or both ?

It is also reported that the pastor has turned in the credit cards.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Karen,

There's already a thread for that. It's called "Ask the Communications Committee!" which is the fourth topic down from this one.

You can copy and move your comment there if you'd like.

NBBCOF

stillwaitingandwatching said...

I still don't understand why they have to sign something if they had to go through an interview process. I also don't understand why they have to make a statement in a worship service. (Wasn't that idea shot down a couple of weeks ago when someone thought "we" should take a stand in a worship service?) How is this any different? All it would show was there are deacons that support the pastor. We already know this. Now we will just have a face to look at. Also, what about those deacons who didn't sign. Shouldn't we know who they are as well? It would be nice for me to be able to look at a group of deacons and know they share the same concerns as I. But, what does happen to those deacons who refuse to sign something? Are they no longer deacons? I guess 100% of the deacons would support the pastor if all the ones that don't are removed.

Anonymous said...

As Mike and others have already said, in most part all the pledge is doing is reaffirming what the Deacons have already agreed to when they became Deacons. just like most of the the other issues, it has been twisted to fit what seems to be a certain agenda. there is not one Deacon being "forced" to do anything.

Tim said...

HisServant,

And so the purpose of the pledge is?

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Okay, so, as I said before, if this is something they've already done when they became deacons, then what's the point of making them sign something? Also, what's the point of taking a stand in a worship service if we already know what they accepted to do when they become deacons? What's the point??

Anonymous said...

because many Deacons want to make that stand and that is their right to do so. I think it is great!

Tim said...

I think that it is purely political. It would be great if they would invite those that still believe that the questions have not been answered to stand afterward. It is incredibly convient to present one side of every argument.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

So, I guess that next Sunday's services are going to be another "informational meeting." Great!

Tim said...

Actually, let me restate myself it would be no better to let those that believe that there are still unanswered questions to stand afterward. Either way, the congregation is the group that suffers. It does no more to present the truth than anything else that has been done.

Anonymous said...

what unanswered questions do you still have? where have you gone to find the answers?

Tim said...

Why is it that Dr. Gaines can not preach at our church on Wednesday nights for family reasons, but has no problem being other places on Wednesday nights? Is this not different than what we were told?

Tim said...

Why can we not have an open business meeting, in which Mark Sharpe, Richard Emerson or anyone else could speak and ask their questions?

Why have former staff members been unable to speak out (not unwilling, but unable)? Explain the confidentiality agreements within the staff and former staff.

Why must those with questions, be belittled from the pulpit, preached to about being "adversaries" (which is not true), "A fault finding spirit" (which created an odd twist on the account of the encounter of Nathan the prophet with David), "drawing pentagrams, lighting candles and worshipping satan" (just flat wierd and completely out of context)?

Karen said...

Tim,

See my last post in the Communications Committee thread.

Karen

Tim said...

I must sign off at the moment, but these are but a few questions. There are more. I will check back later to see what could be said of these. Anyone else that have any please chime in. It would appear that we may finally have someone that is willing to help.

Anonymous said...

there are some on here that have had legitimate concerns along the way. there are many others that have only used this forum for slander and to feed off of one another. this blog and ALL others regarding Bellevue and private church matters are WRONG. there is nothing anyone can say to defend that. many have tried to defend it and failed. there is NO excuse. many have said that this was the only option left, a last resort. this and the other blogs should NEVER have even been an option. many are using Matt 18 as a crutch. what happened to trusting God? you were not forced to do this and there is NO excuse for it. this and the other sites are full is rumors and slander and half-truths and untruths. there is no way to defend that. slander is slander. it would not matter if all that was being said was true(it is NOT), slander is still 100% wrong. last resort? there should be no last resort? again, many have used Matt 18 as a crutch to try and justify their actions and that is very wrong. we need to wait on God. He will take care of things in His way and in His timing.

Tim said...

HisServant,

I appreciate your opinion, but you are indeed wrong. The attempt to address these issues prior to this blog and the original were minimal. Since, then it has begun to be taken seriously. You being here is a testimony to that.

Anonymous said...

Brother Steve has many different things he does on Wed. nights. He meets with committees, youth groups etc etc etc. He said he leaves Wed. night open to do those things, so that he can spend OTHER nights with his family.

i have NO problem with the Wed. deal.

is it a sin that he is not preaching on Wed. night?? NO! it is all about what people want and do not want and personal preferences.

everyone is not going to like everything, but if it is not a SIN, you have no right to slander and cause the issues that have been caused over things like this.

Tim said...

And God will use people in his way and the way of his choosing and perhaps God will choose to use a blog. I presume to put no limits on God and neither should you.

Tim said...

Concerning Wednesday nights.

If the purpose for not preaching at Bellevue on Wednesday nights were to be so that he could be preaching at other places. Why were we not plainly told?

Anonymous said...

so you are somehow trying to justify the HORRIBLE slander that has been on this blog and others? see what the Bible has to say about slander. God is not telling anyone to slander or spread rumors or false rumers, etc etc.

Tim said...

Since when, has seeking truth and asking for truth become slander?

Anonymous said...

there will be people through this that will be held accountable for causing fellow Brother's to stumble and for causing some lost poeple to never want anything to do with Christ because of what they have seen.

again, there is nothing that you can find in God's word to justify any of this.

Anonymous said...

so you are going to deny the HORRIBLE slander that is on this blog and other sites?

not saying you are not, but there are many that are in way searching for the "truth".

i will say again, the answers are there.

Tim said...

I appreciate your opinion. I am sure that there are some of Paul's epistle that might cause the lost not to be saved. Do you suggest that they be removed also?
It is up to God to justify and up to God to condemn.

Anonymous said...

when this is all over and it is shown that 99% of the stuff on this blog and others is not true, then what? and that time will come. that time has already come for many that are TRULLY seeking the "truth". what then?? will all of you get up and say you are sorry?? will you make sure it gets reported on the news and in the papers??

Tim said...

Concerning Salvation of the Lost

When the main thing, becomes the only thing, then any thing and every thing that is not centered around the main thing becomes nothing. How can it be that salvation is from nothing and to nothing?

Salvation is but the first step, sanctification is the process of many steps.

Tim said...

I must go at this point. I will check in later, but I am convinced that you do not have the answers. I appreciate your convictions. It is admirable, but if you have the answers and do not share them, then who is guilty of what. Would Christ have denied the truth to those that sought it, no matter what venue they choose?

Anonymous said...

i answered the Wed. night deal with no response from you.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

HisServant,

I have a question about Wednesday nights you might be able to answer, but because this thread is about "Deacon Loyalty Pledge," I will post it under the "Is BBC a part time job..." thread below....please come over there. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Tim, Brother Steve's sermons have been planned for months and months. do you think he should change because he might step on some toes?? I sure don't!! when my toes gets stepped on etc, I usually need it. It is the same for the series that Mrs Gaines has been doing with the ladies. Her material amd schedule was planned months ago. they are in God's timing. He new we would be going through this at this time.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, I think signing a loyalty pledge to Dr. Rogers, Billy Graham, W.A. Criswell, George Truitt, or any other great Southern Baptist leader would have been just as wrong. Pledging loyalty to a fallen man means devoting oneself to an uncertain future- what if that man succumbs to lying, pride, greed, or immorality at some time in the future? (read about Ted Haggard as an example)

I have seen these pledging tactics used before in churches that confuse shepherding with herding. When the people of a church sense they are loved, they usually respond with love in return and follow the leader. A pastor who demands loyalty ends up playing a losing game- trying to herd the congregation like cattle. Sheep respond to shepherds, not ranchers, or worse, cowhands.

A new pastor can only live off the credibility of a former pastor so long before that credit is completely spend. He must begin to earn his only credibility by demonstrably loving people in person and from the pulpit.

Anonymous said...

make of it what you will. you and others are making it something it is not. it is NOT an oath to a man. in most part, it is only reaffirming what the Deacons have already agreed to.

Bother Steve in NO way asked for this and in NO way demanded loyalty!!!

westtnbarrister said...

Hisservant,

I forwarded a post to a Southern Baptist theologian several weeks ago that made the identical argument you just made about leaving all of this to God. I wanted an outside expert opinion on that line of thinking.

I won't bore you with the details of his response, but he strongly disagreed with your perspective.

Of those who say we should leave this to God he said, "Do they actually expect a lightening bolt to strike your pastor dead?"

Do you believe God uses men to accomplish His aims? I do. The Bible verifies over and over that He uses foolish, fallible men to accomplish His purposes.

Also, I would be cautious about thowing around words like "slander." Slander is an "oral" communication, so by definition nothing written here is slander. However, it might be libelous, which is a written communication. Nothing that has been written is libel unless the person making the statement has "actual malice." That phrase comes from a 1960's case involving the New York Times. It means the person writing or speaking must do so with the deliberate knowledge that the statement is both incorrect and defamatory. Generally speaking, libel or slander must be a factual misstatement, not an expression of opinion.

I am not defending every statement made here. Many have been extremely careless and based soley in rumor. But that goes for both sides. Unless you are the pastor, you can't know with certainty you are correct about the facts any more than a poster with a divergent view knows with certainty. Much of what has been said and discussed here is a complete waste of everyone's time. Despite that, it is highly unlikely anything written here or at Saving Bellevue rises to the level of slander. Also, truth is a defense to a charge of libel or slander.

You said, "He will take care of things in His way and in His timing." On this we agree.

I simply believe He may do so through human agency. In fact, I believe this is already happening.

ezekiel said...

hisservant...........

" have NO problem with the Wed. deal.

is it a sin that he is not preaching on Wed. night?? NO! it is all about what people want and do not want and personal preferences."

The sin is beating up and bullying the sheep that GOD has given you. Driving them away.

Give folks a little credit for being a little more on the ball than you think they are. Are the veiwers of this driven away more by the ones exposing the attitudes, hate and bullying in the church or the ones doing the bullying and scattering the flock?

"there will be people through this that will be held accountable for causing fellow Brother's to stumble and for causing some lost peopl to never want anything to do with Christ because of what they have seen."

Yes sir, but it may not be who you think. Leadership had the opportunity to act in a way that this would have never started and they had an oportunity to act in a way to prevent this ever leaving the walls of the church...

May I be so presumptous to suggest a reading of Jer23 or Eze34 ?

Anonymous said...

unreal. you are sitting here trying to defend this blog and others tearing Brother Steve and others to pieces with NO facts to stand on. again, even if there were some "truth" to any of this stuff, there is still not excuse.

making an excuse for the stuff on this blog and others because it is written?? that is trully sad

Anonymous said...

so you are blaming your actions and the actions of others in the Leadership?? WE are in control of our OWN attitudes and actions.

have mistakes been made? sure they have and TONS were made under Dr. Rogers as well.

again, there is NO excuse

BR said...

Well, someone needs to check out the savingbellevue website before this volley goes on any longer.

westtnbarrister said...

hisservant,

I merely pointed out you are carelessly throwing around words you apparently do not understand. I am not defending anyone. We are all accountable for what we say and write.

Perhaps you are right about the facts. Perhaps others are right about the facts. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Either way, libel is a big charge to make and it won't stick.

But that wasn't the main point of my post. The primary focus of my post had to do with your notion we should just "wait on God" and do nothing. I believe history is His-story of how men have been used to accomplish His purposes. Maybe you should do nothing. Maybe I should do nothing. But I believe some men are led of God to DO something.

Also, if we are merely to wait on God, shouldn't that apply to both sides? Why should the deacons pledge anything to anyone? Why should we form a committee? Why should the deacon leaders announce there has been no wrongdoing?

Face it, you only want those opposing the pastor to do nothing.

ezekiel said...

hisservant......

Wouldn't it have been better to come clean with the facts in a business meeting, offer up an apology and then ask for forgiveness. Do you really think your sheep would have bolted? Wasn't it just a small indescretion or a few simple bad choices?

Who made the decision to get angry, throw people out and ask people to leave? As a result of that decision, your flock started looking and questioning and frankly a I am shocked at the responses from your peers and Mr. Weatherwax. Those are public statements are they not?

Could it be that GOD was exposing a character flaw in a few folks that he wanted corrected and thought that Bellevue was the place to do it?

And now you say that WE are in control of our OWN actions........

Maybe it is time that everyone sits down for a bit and actually gets Control over their actions and starts acting like a Shepherd and Leader............

Anonymous said...

i never said, do nothing. I said there is NO excuse for the things that have been done and the way they have been done, NONE. yes, many times we should wait on God. are you saying we should not wait on God at times??

stillwaitingandwatching said...

NBBBOF...

In light of this...

BR said...
Well, someone needs to check out the savingbellevue website before this volley goes on any longer.

I think we need a new thread. What say you?

stillwaitingandwatching said...

or NBBCOF HA!

Anonymous said...

he for the Birthday party at the first of the week right after that happened WITHOUT being asked about it. he tried to use his own card and they did not let him. it is policy at the club.

allofgrace said...

hisservant,
are you not possibly guilty of the same charge of slander/libel? you come here and make blanket accusations of slander...have you read each and every post on this and "other" blogs? I echo WTB's statement...we are all accountable for what we say...including you. I also want to address a statement that keeps cropping on this forum...the idea that any soul will end up in hell because of someone else's actions...that is simply not Biblical...I urge you to read Jeremiah 30:29-30 as well as Romans 1:20...if you still believe that statement is true, then I would gently caution you to take care lest you be weighed in those same scales and be found wanting!

MOM4 said...

hisservant,
It is Not about the charge - it is about lying about it!

westtnbarrister said...

Absolutely not. Of course we wait on God. But your post, and others I have seen, seemed to suggest we should drop all of this and let God handle it. I am pointing out I believe He is handling it through men.

You say there is no excuse for what has been done. NONE. I say our church members do not know what has actually been done by either side. There are presumptions and rumors about what has been done, but the facts are not as clear cut as everyone believes. As long as God is using fallible men, mistakes can and will be made. That does not mean their mission is wrong.

Anonymous said...

so you cannot cause a brother to stumble? I never said that every person on every board was guilty of slander.

so you are going to deny that there is slander, rumors, half-truths and untruths on this board and others?

it is unreal and sad how many feed off of each others rumors they throw out everyday. i was told this and I was told that and on and on and on and on and on and on.

accusations of slander?? is it that hard to see?

Anonymous said...

it is not about dropping it. it IS about how things are being done. this blog and others are WRONG, period.

"IF" Brother Steve was guilty of everythingof everything many have claimed, this blog and others would still be WRONG!

Anonymous said...

i am simply amazed. If I for one second thought the horribe things many of you think are true, I WOULD LEAVE and FAST. i just do not get it. i would not go to a church where I thought these things were true. you can say you love Bellevue all you want.

i think this is where MANY get things confused. this is where many claim that they are being told to leave. tat is just not the case.

if you are unheappy and if you trully feel that these things are true why stay? i would love an answer to that. why stay? to prove a point? to get someone fired? why?

if one trully thinks these things are true, how can you trully worship at Bellevue??

Anonymous said...

It is clear that the Lord calls pastors and the church calls deacons (Acts 6). To move active deacons to inactive status supercedes the authority of any committee. For the committee to argue that "they are taking themselves off the active deacon list by refusing to sign the pledge" is disingenuous at best.

Anonymous said...

where are you getting that pslam43:3??

also, the Deacons have been given EVERY opportunity to possible to have their questions answered. if they some of these things are true, why would they want to be a Deacon? why would we want them to be?

westtnbarrister said...

"IF" Brother Steve was guilty of everythingof everything many have claimed, this blog and others would still be WRONG!

Well, I think you made your position clear.

We disagree.

Anonymous said...

it is fine to disgree, but what do you have to backup your viewpoint?

allofgrace said...

HisServant said...

there will be people through this that will be held accountable for causing fellow Brother's to stumble and for causing some lost poeple to never want anything to do with Christ because of what they have seen. (emphasis mine)

This is what I'm addressing...we all can cause a BROTHER to stumble..we can cause Christ's name to be dishonored and blasphemed among the lost..both serious sins...but every individual is personally responsible for what he/she does with Christ...regardless of the actions of others. That's the point I'm making..making a statement like that COULD cause someone who is lost think somehow they will have an excuse before God...that's why it's just as important to avoid making such statements as it is to take care in being libelous/slanderous.

westtnbarrister said...

Which viewpoint?

Anonymous said...

Acts 6:3-4 says "Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

According to deacon leadership, deacons who do not sign a loyalty oath and stand with the pastor on the platform this Sunday will be moved to inactive status. In fairness, one of the members on the Communication Committee that met with the Preschool and Children's workers last night said that they are reconsidering the verbiage of "loyalty oath" that is to be signed. This might lessen the offense.

Tim said...

HisServant,

Why stay? Because I know what our church has been, I know what it should be and I know what it can be? If you are so eager to give up, to just give up then you do so. When God directs me to do other than what I have, then I will do so. I am a member of this church as well as you. If I thought that it was hopless I would leave and it is rapidly coming to that point.

Isaiah 66:5 ¶ Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

Take a note and take it well. Those that have searched for truth have not been the ones that have said, "If you don't like it, leave."

ezekiel said...

"if you are unheappy and if you trully feel that these things are true why stay? i would love an answer to that. why stay? to prove a point? to get someone fired? why?

if one trully thinks these things are true, how can you trully worship at Bellevue??"

I think it is because the Lord told me to serve there, and I was being fed regularly with the WORD.

As far as worshiping there, well I am beginning to ask the same question. GBC had two good services Sunday. The sermon on giving was more scriptural based and in line with what I have read in HIS WORD than what I am getting at BBC. Sunday night was good as well. Once saved always saved. I will study that one a little more.........

My partner said it was good to be able to leave a church service without being mad..........

westtnbarrister said...

Tim,

It seems we are on the same page about this. As long as God directs me to keep my family in this church I am staying, even if that means I am the lone voice standing for truth.

Anonymous said...

psalm 43:3,

if Brother Steve or others would have made the same statement you just made, they would have been called liars and it would have been the next item added on the list. i am saying this to make a point. this is exactly how a great deal of this stuff has gotten twisted and why we are where we are.

loyalty and loyalty oath are 2 VERY different things. VERY different.

the Deacons voted and had the opportunity to vote no. none did so.

I am in no way saying that you are lying and or that you meant anything when saying loyalty oath. I simply wanted to point out have VERY VERY easy things can get twisted and rumors started.

Diana Hart said...

Anybody but NASS and me ever notice that one person always gets on these threads and disrupts everything? You were all on point until hisservant showed up. Maybe we should scroll on past for now............

Diana

Diana Hart said...

There is a separate thread for "if you don't like it leave."

Anonymous said...

all on point? please explain.

regarding your 2nd post, you proved my point. you hear what you want to hear and see what you want to see. I NEVER said for anyone to leave!! try reading my post again.

also, how sad that one person on here that is on the "other side" is said to have disrupted things.

if I came on here and bashed our Pastor and brought NEW gossip and rumors I would have been welcomed my most with open arms.

how dare someone actually stand for God's anointed.

Truth Hunter said...

hisservant,

Come clean and admit you are a deacon (or among the senior staff). Other than MB, the only people who post here with your degree of certainty are deacon defenders like Derrick Calcote. Much like you, Derrick had certainty where none exists. He believes everything he has been told by the deacon leadership and the pastor. I am not bashing him, I believe he is a stand up guy who has been doing what he believes is correct. He always acted with dignity and civility in the forum. He never embarrassed himself or his family. So, while I disagree with him, I respect him.

If the blog is WRONG, then welcome to the sinner's ball. You are just as guilty as the rest of us.

In your world it is only WRONG to blog if you disagree with the pastor. I suggest you stop worrying about specks in eyes of bloggers.

On second thought, carry on. Hypocrisy is often comical.

choice_is_yours said...

Text for a possible pledge that should be signed by all staff and members.


Because the blood of Jesus Christ was poured out for me,

Because he has made certain things mandatory for me,

Because he has commanded certain things,

Because the greatest command is to love him with all my heart,

Because the second greatest command is to love my neigbor as myself,

because I am commanded to love both friend and enemy as myself,

Because I have been told to forgive seven times seventy times,

Because I have been told to turn the other cheek,

I pledge to love
and
to forgive
All who have ever been members and/or staff of Belleve Baptist Church.

My pledge of forgiveness is for anything I perceive to be a sin, with no exceptions, that has occurred before the date of this pledge.

This includes all sins whether known or unknown at the time of this pledge.


Comments?

allofgrace said...

choice_is_yours,
that's a pledge I can live with.

MOM4 said...

Choice,
Your pledge is more pallatible than the previous that I have read, however while we are ALL willing to forgive and forget as Christians, there is ALWAYS consequence for sin.
There will be a time of honesty, forgiveness, repentance and reconciliation and consequences that will fall, but it will need to start with Steve Gaines, Chuck Taylor and Harry Smith.

Anonymous said...

sinners ball? i have only asked for someone to defend this blog and the rumors that exist on it.

no, I am not gulity of the same. I am on here for a few days and I am gone. I have not posted ONE post that did not contain TRUTH. I have not posted ONE thread that included a rumor, half-truth, slander etc etc. not one. the blog is NOT the issue, it is the content. I have not used names in my threads without permission. i have simply tried to answer some questions and clear up somethings.

there are many people all over the country and all over the world that have a FALSE view of Brother Steve and Bellevue because of this blog and other sites. when all this is over, MOST of those same people will never hear the good that came out of it. MOST of those same people will not hear the true story. Brother Steve's reputation and many others have been ruined in the eyes of many. are you or someone else going to make sure that this blog and others stay up to praise Brother Steve when the "truth" is found? will all on here and others spend hours and hours online praising God's anointed? or will that be to boring?

just like in politics etc. the only thing that many are interested in are the juicy rumors and tidbits. good things do not get this much attention. good things do not cause such a frenzy.

I simply challenge everyone to go find a Deacon or someone on the committee and get your questions answered. please stop doing what you are doing on this blog. please. all I can do is ask and then move on. PLEASE.

choice_is_yours said...

hisservant,

welcome aboard!

You asked someone to defend this blog.

Here is my defence as a member of the Body of Christ:


As an American I have the right to free speech and public assembly.

The internet was built with my tax dollars.

Blogging was invented to enable people to communicate in a new way.

This blog was created for the following purpose:


This forum was created to provide a place where those who are seriously concerned about the issues facing Bellevue Baptist Church can come to comment and exchange ideas in a respectful, Christian spirit. Remember that whatever you write here could ultimately be read by the world, so please consider your words carefully and set the right tone before you hit "Send."


No one person, not even the blog owner, is responsible for all of the things that are said here by all of the people who have come here.

You might as well shout at the people in the stands of a foot ball game that they should all go home because some of them are not the same political party as you are.

If you have concerns with any one person, then talk to that one person.

But you and several others have come in here and told all of us to leave.

That's silly. Somehow the existence of blogging is blamed for the problems at BBC. I assure you those problems existed before this blog existed.

If you are upset that you have been woken up from a long happy dream to find out that this is not a perfect world, then we mourn WITH YOU. All of us here had that same dream.

All of us would give our left arm to go back to that dream.

But Christ did not die on the cross so that we could be couch potato christians living in a fantasy.

We are called to be his instruments in this world and sometimes we stumble.

Let's forgive each other quickly and completely and help eachother get back up, bandage the wounds, and get back to running the race.

I don't blame you for being hostile. I remember when I was awoken from that dream. It's scary.

Just hang in there. God will become more real to you now that you depend on him instead of on the dream.

peace,
Choice

ezekiel said...

Hissevant....

That is a little hard to follow....

If I engage in activity such as charging things on (our) credit card that are not church related expenses.....then standing in front of the church and telling everyone I did not do it........

It is your fault for pointing out my error and thus ruining my reputation???????

StumblingServant said...

The cure for a falsely ruined reputation is truth and light.

Coverups and lies will merely buy you more of the same.

Truth Hunter said...

hisservant,

I assume I was correct. You are a DEACON(see I can shout too. I think I will do it some more below).

As for the sinner comment, I assumed since you said it was WRONG, you believed it was sinful (or is it just sinful for us?). I apologize for my mistake.

Your tortured logic is embarrassing. Unless you are Steve Gaines, Chuck Tayor or Harry Smith and a select few around them, YOU DO NOT KNOW THE TRUTH to the degree you believe you do and you should not mislead the readers of the blog by saying you do. You only know what you have been told by those men.

Most deacons have been too spineless to ask probing questions and dig into this in a meaningful way. They are mere sycophants looking for the first train that takes us out of this crisis. They believe if the pastor, Harry, and Chuck are on the same page, this crisis will settle down and people will recede back into their typical unquestioning state. That WILL NOT HAPPEN, so be discerning, and aggressively pursue the truth for yourself instead of repeating what was said by other men.

See, the problem you have is others KNOW things too. Did you ever consider what you call rumor, might be truth put out by people who KNOW? I know a group of DEACONS and STAFFMEMBERS with a vastly different story than the one you are selling. It will be interesting to see which side has egg on its face when this is over. I hope you are not among them.

New BBC Open Forum said...

hisservant wrote:

"this blog and ALL others regarding Bellevue and private church matters are WRONG.

I guess you haven't had a chance to post that same comment over at the Bratton blog yet. Will you be getting around to that soon?

NASS

P.S. It's "truly." T-R-U-L-Y, with one "L". Since you used it so much, just thought you'd like to correct that in the future.

padroc said...

I'm just curious. How many different Blogger Identities can one person have? Seems to me that there are fewer people commenting than there are Identities. I think I could do that. I grew up arguing for fun. Arguing was a family tradition. Pick a side and try to prove your case. It was a primmer for debating where a good debater was always prepared to argue either side. Folks, I seem to sense that some here could take either side.... just for sport. If I did this I suppose I'd be laughing myself silly. The giveaway that something like this is going on becomes apparent when good questions are answered with nonsense. See any of that?

Bin Wonderin said...

I'm just curious. How many different Blogger Identities can one person have?

As many as you want. You and I could actually be the same person.

allofgrace said...

I have 2 blogs...one ID

Bin Wonderin said...

I have 2 blogs...one ID

I have one ID and no blog. Mostly I just read as I scroll along. Except that I won't read the poster that must not be named. He is way to mean and sarcastic. I could not even pretend to be as full of mean and hateful things to say as that guy is.

cjesusnme said...

NBBCOF....I know this doesn't go under this post, but the Lord laid this on my heart to share.....


Hisservant,

I am 42 years old, a wife and the mother of 3 wonderful children who came to know the Lord at Bellevue, so as you can imagine, Bellevue means a lot to me and my family. My husband serves there as an asst. BF teacher, and also coaches in the Activities ministry. Life has been great over the years at BBC. We have made many friends and many have become family as we have worshipped, ministered, and fellowshipped together over the years. I welcomed the Pastor with open arms initially and had faith in our leadership that we had the right man to lead us. I didn't look for problems with Bellevue. I didn't want to leave. This was my home! This is where I was fed and felt safe for more than 15 years!

Now, there are sheep scattered. Yes, it breaks my heart, but perhaps God wanted it that way. As Steve Tucker has told it "spread the Bellevue DNA". I think that was his nice delivery of telling us if we don't like it to leave, but I will give him benefit of the doubt and agree that perhaps that is part of God's plan in all of this mess. The part that I am so angry and upset over is much more personal to me.

I grew up in a home where we didn't attend church. Sure I knew who God was, but I was unsaved. I began attending church with some of my "churched friends" and through school attended younglife functions. I came to know the Lord and was saved and baptised because of that exposure. I began talking about Jesus and how he had paid the price for my life with my parents and they began to see a change in me because of what Jesus did and they were curious. The Holy Spirit touched my mother through me, but Dad wasn't ready. While he was spotty in his attendance with me and Mom, all I ever heard him talk about after attending church was the hypocrites and how some of the members he knew where only Christians on Sunday. I remember how painful it was for me to grow up wishing so badly that Daddy would know Jesus like I had come to know him.

Now fast forward 25 years. Mom had been going to church for years by herself while Dad stayed at home, until a year or so ago and some health problems caused Dad to be visited by my Mother's preacher. His words touched my Dad and he began going to church again. He even began attending men's groups and openning up to some of the men he had begrugged over the years. I felt he was understanding the heart of Jesus. Then a man, a man who was supposedly "God's annointed", made comments and laughed at his flock over "a few trying to create problems in his church".

Do you really want to blame all of us for this mess? I didn't ask for this! I felt like my Dad close to making a decision for Christ before it is too late. While I am so grateful for hearing about these decisions being made yesterday, here is one who has not and you, nor I can answer if it was influenced by the words which came out of Steve Gaines mouth. It's not too late though and I know that. It's not too late for my Dad, and it's not too late for Steve to be forgiven.

I don't want to be hateful and I don't think anyone else on this blog really wants to be. We all have a stake in this and it has become very emotional for many of us. I have tried to see both sides early on in all of this, but as I have described above, it has become clear to me that those outside of the walls of Bellevue, as well as those at Bellevue have been hurt and it must stop.

I don't ask for you to agree with me, but please try to understand. We hurt, and I imagine you hurt too. This is not too big that we can't forgive but we have to be truthful. One sheep lost is not worth all the gold or power in the world!

Anonymous said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
hisservant wrote:

"this blog and ALL others regarding Bellevue and private church matters are WRONG.

I guess you haven't had a chance to post that same comment over at the Bratton blog yet. Will you be getting around to that soon?

NASS


Unlike this one, mine is not a single-issue site. I have actually written about things other than the anti-Bellevue nonsense--which, apparently, knows neither shame nor boundary. And as I have time, I'll be writing about even more different and varied things.

Nass, have I shared any private church matters? Or, have I insisted that those who do such things cease and desist? And, what does this have to do with the deacon affirmation?

--Mike

padroc said...

Was it Will Rogers that said: "A lie will travel half way around the world while truth is still tying its shoes"? I say, do not loose hope. Remember the tortoise won and truth will win. God always wins.

The questions I am asking myself are: Am I being loyal to God? In everything I think, am I being loyal to God's word? When I speak, will I show myself disloyal to the principles and precepts of God? When I type, will these same principles and precepts "sit" on my shoulder as if responding to the Holy Spirit to direct and edit the thoughts and intents of my heart in words?

I would imagine that if all of the bloggers were thoughtful, sensible, and thinking more highly of others than of them selves, following the leading of the Holy Spirit and the whole council of God’s word, there would NOT be much to blog about. Unless we would get all excited about bragging on God and couldn’t wait to tell about what Jesus is doing. Could happen.

I suspect that we, who would blog about loyalty and have much to say with many words, could benefit greatly by reading and meditating on the word of God where the “picture” and “story” of the loyalty of Jesus is told. Those who are in Christ are new creatures. As new creatures our loyalty belongs to the one who made us new. That loyalty will be best demonstrated by our voluntary obedience to the Lord and an infectious attitude of gratitude. We who claim the name of Christ are not our own. We have been bought with a price, the blood of Jesus. Our loyalty is not for hire or for sale. Our loyalty is not established or enhanced by any kind of proclamation.
Our loyalty to Jesus will be obvious. The very word of God will work like a sieve for our thoughts and the very words that float from the tip of our tongue. The law of love will be our close companion. Our loyalty to Jesus will be evident by our keen desire to abstain from every appearance of evil. We will be known for helping those who have stumbled. Our loyalty to Jesus will be recognized by our compassion and care for people: Smelly people. Tall people. Fat people. Young people. Old people. Whole people. Broken people. Any color people. Any nationality people. Educated people. Uneducated people. Ugly people. Beautiful people. You name-it people. We will be known to be quick to hear and slow to speak. We will be growing and leading others to grow in their dependence on God and a growing hatred for sin. Our loyalty to the Lord Jesus will be supernaturally attractive to others. Our loyalty to Jesus will not allow us to be easily persuaded to trade any of our loyalty away to obtain friendship or approval. Our growing loyalty to Jesus will toughen our minds with resolve and “tenderize” our hearts for service. I believe that a growing single-minded loyalty to Jesus the Christ can be used of God to do what no man could imagine or anticipate. I believe that our situation at Bellevue Baptist will respond to this kind of loyalty but not to anything less. We can squabble on or we can bow the knee one by one until we become more nearly as one in the Lord. Father, may Christ have preeminence. Amen

Anonymous said...

Just read the loyalty pledge and have only read a few blogs. Frankly, I can't understand what the big deal is...children pledge allegiance to the flag everyday with their hand over their heart (at least I did in school), and couples vow to be loyal/faithful at the altar when married. How can anyone seriously think that any of the deacons were putting their loyalty/allegiance above Jesus? It was merely a gesture of support for their pastor, not signing their souls away to a man. I see nothing wrong with it and folks are reading too much into it.

padroc said...

pledgesmedge,

I would have no trouble signing on until I realized that there would be consequences if I did not sign on or if at a later date I changed my mind. There is a hint of manipulation or maybe even coercion. Not in the words of the document but associated with the purpose for signing on. Some are of the understanding that this signing may not constitute only a re-affirmation of what each deacon has already put his name to but a re-signing with an unwritten additional meaning or significance. This additional unwritten "meaning" or significance, which has no expressed definition, is cloaked in the; "why" are we doing this? Personally I think this is a nice gesture but I believe that some of our deacons believe that this is something useful and meaningful that will actually accomplish something. I am not so inclined. We learned in physics class that force times distance equal work. We learned that force times no distance equals effort. I believe that this show of "loyalty" will be shown to equal "effort". Maybe not. But so far, not so good. Please pray scripture.

Anonymous said...

I have followed the varied comments, arguments, accusations and rants that have been posted for the past several days.

I would first like to state that I am outside the center circle when it comes to the basic bed rock foundation of the underlying "problems" with the Dr. Steve Gaines and/or Mark Sharpe factions. I have no preconceived notions and readily admit that I am not qualified to castigate the views of either side of the argument.

I do know that the old cliché "God works in mysterious ways" is definitely in play as this drama continues to play out.

Believe it or not, this is not the first time Bellevue has been beset with controversy over the ordaining of a new senior pastor. And I am confident this will not be the last time controversy falls upon Bellevue when they replace their leader.

When Dr. Robert G. Lee retired from Bellevue in 1960 he was replaced by a fire breathing, gospel preaching personality by the name of Ramsey Pollard. After 33 years of listening to a man whose eloquence in the pulpit had no rival, Bellevue had been turned over to a man who regularly slammed his fist on the pulpit, raised his Bible in the air and pointed to members of the congregation. He told them unabashedly that if they failed to follow the simple plan of salvation laid out in the book that he was waving above his head, they would feel the fire of eternal damnation lapping at their bodies.

Now this was quite a change from the style Bellevue had grown accustomed to for the past 33 years. An element arose that had decided that this "bible thumper" was not the man that God had meant to follow such an elegant Shepard as Dr. Lee. Wild accusations began to flow about the "arrogant" newcomer that had the audacity to shake the rafters with has booming voice. It was rumored that Dr. Pollard was spotted every now and then enjoying a fine cigar. (Whether or not he climbed any fences spewing his verbal fire and brimstone has not, to my knowledge, been documented.) Now, how on earth could a man of such brashness be the right man for to lead such a refined and civilized congregation? Obviously, a major blunder had been made. This tobacco-using loud-mouth preacher is NOT supposed to be leading Bellevue Baptist Church. I can only imagine reading those blogs if the Internet had been in existence in 1961.

The controversy continued to grow over Dr. Pollard until it became evident that an impassable schism had split Bellevue at the seams. All of a sudden, the serene atmosphere of this elegant church had turned to allegations, cross-allegations, slanderous statements and accusations that eventually led to a sizable contingent of members leaving the Bellevue.

So, was this the end of Bellevue Baptist Church's contribution to the glory of Jesus Christ? A church so divided in it's allegiances that it is split in two parts? This surely could not be God's will. Obviously, hiring the wrong man for the job of Pastor had brought an end to the mission of this once great church. Now, all that had been built by Dr. Lee over the last 3-plus decades is lying in shambles.

A funny thing happened in the early 1960's. After the final ashes of the funeral pyre that was once the great Bellevue Baptist Church died down, two great Phoenixes arose from those ashes, one in midtown Memphis and another in the suburban area of east Memphis on Walnut Grove Road. Many the disenchanted congregants left and started another church. But did they go alone? Oh no. It seems God must have gone with them. But by some miracle, it seems he must have stayed in midtown too. How could this be? After so much strife and turmoil, God's work continued, not just in midtown at Bellevue, but now out east as well at the fledging Second Baptist Church.

While many were convinced that mistakes were made in the hiring of Dr. Pollard, God's plan was just beginning to unfold. Dr. Lee was undoubtedly the man ordained to lead Bellevue Baptist Church through the Great Depression and World War II. But the times were changing. This out-spoken servant of God that now controlled the rudder of Bellevue Baptist Church turned out to be the perfect captain for the rough seas that were just ahead for Bellevue. The late 60's brought us the Viet Nam War. This war shook the very fabric of American civilization. Soldiers were spit upon on their return from this war. Heroes were looked upon as fiends. The American ideals that were formed under the Judeo-Christian beliefs, upon which this country were founded, were changing at an alarming rate. Love of God was being replaced with love of self. "Love thy neighbor as thyself" was being replaced with "If it feels good, do it." Church attendance dropped as Americans were constantly indoctrinated with the philosophy that man had outgrown the need for God. Abominations in the sight of God became the status quo.

But, you know, every week I would watch the TV and read the papers and would slowly start to fall into the thinking of the "Me" generation. That is until Sunday morning when I would sit in that big building on Bellevue Avenue and watch that arrogant brash preacher pound his fist on the pulpit and set me right back on that straight and narrow path.

In 1972 Dr. Pollard announced his retirement from Bellevue Baptist Church. There was not a dry eye in the building that morning. Bellevue Baptist was as robust as it was in 1960. The "mistakes" were now just distant memories.

There were many members of Bellevue Baptist Church that were convinced that Dr. Pollard was not the right man for them. But Dr. Pollard was the man picked by GOD to lead his church! And through all the turmoil of the era Dr. Pollard led his flock just as God had planned. God did the same in 1972 when he led Dr. Rogers to Memphis to lead this church.

From 1927 until 1960, God gave Bellevue Baptist Church an architect to lay out the path to salvation. In 1960 to 1972, God sent a Shepard to see that the flock of Bellevue did not stray from that path previously constructed. From 1972 to 2005, God sent a teacher to instruct the flock in their journey down that path.

Now we have reached another fork in the path. Which way do we go? Now that is a question I cannot answer at this time. All I know is that after 45 or so years, this church is faced with another man who seems to possess qualities that may be repugnant to many members. I would not be honest if I said that I have not seen some things that make me question whether or not Steve Gaines is the right man to lead this great church. I also know that I am not qualified to question God's plan. I do know that the world we live in is again going through a metamorphosis. We have Muslim extremists that want to eradicate us. We have a social system that is again questioning our core beliefs in Jesus and his saving grace.

Without a doubt Dr. Gaines teems with arrogance and a narrow minded dogmatic approach. Those traits may not be what we are comfortable with in a senior pastor. But I still believe that no matter how we feel about the direction this church, God is still ultimately in control, and I am not yet ready to question his guidance in this matter. While the traits of arrogance and steadfast strong-handed control are not traits I am used to in a pastor, I also do not know what is lurking in the shadows ahead as we travel the path of salvation. I am afraid though that the path may be much more dangerous than at any othertime in the past. The freedom to practice our faith has always been a given since this country was formed. I am no so sure that will be the case in the near future. Now, we have a sizable segment of the world population that seems hell-bent to remove us from the path we choose to follow. A basic tenet of Islam is to convert the enemies of Islam to Islam. Those that cannot be converted are to be destroyed. On September 11, 2001, the destruction phase of this belief came to American shores.

If I were in a war, I would want a leader arrogant in is ways, and stubborn in his approach, a man who does not second guess himself in times of crisis. I guess what I am trying to say is that qualities that we see as undesirable in one man are necessary in another for him to get the job done. I am convinced that peril is ahead for each and every one of us that share our belief in the saving blood of Jesus Christ. The time is afoot that it could be quite perilous to publicly profess your love for Jesus. And if that is the case we are not going to be looking for a leader in the mold of Dr Lee, Dr. Pollard or Dr. Rogers. God sees people's traits, both good and bad, as lumps of clay for him to mold (lest we forget the Apostle Paul's disposition to Christians before he was enlightened). It just may be that the traits that Dr. Gaines possesses are not desirable but necessary for God to mold the next leader of Bellevue for the times ahead.

In the past, God sent this church an architect to lay out the path to salvation. When it became necessary, he sent us a Shepard to keep us from straying form the path to salvation. Later, to educate the flock, God sent us a teacher to show us the ultimate destination of the path to salvation. Maybe now God has sent us a warrior to defend the flock on the path to salvation.

RM said...

Oldtimer,

That is absolutely the best post I have ever read on a Bellevue blog. Hopefully people will heed your advice.

PS If you get tired of Memphis, come to Dallas and join us!

I love my church said...

Oldtimer,

Thank you for your interesting thoughts. I see the same perils on the horizon and you may be correct about the characteristics needed to lead the church in the future. However, IF (this has neither been proven nor disproven) we have a man with integrity issues, he should not remain our pastor. In that instance, he would have blown the responsibility he was called to by compromising himself.

padroc said...

“And the fool on the hill saw the sun going down and the eyes in his head saw the world going round.” The wisdom of God seems so often to be foolishness to men yet it is the one who is foolish for God that sees more nearly what God sees. So often I would give anything…anything to have a piece of God’s perspective. When I ask God for His perspective, I can almost always hear Him say: Child, with all that I have provided…. Obey and I will make your way straight and your ways will more and more become like mine and you will see a little more from My perspective”.

Today God has given us a piece of His perspective. Thank you “Oldtimer”. May we rejoice together in the Lord always and in all ways.

one member said...

NBBCOF,
Since RM is in Dallas, what is he doing on this blog. He has no dog in this hunt - is he just "getting us told"? Sounds like arrogance to me..maybe he needs to tend his own flock, sounds like they need it.

Anonymous said...

i appreciate your post and thank you for sharing your heart.

I too believe that Pastor Steve was called by the LORD to Bellevue but for what purpose or plan, no one truly can say. Only in the rearview mirror of life will we know, so as the old hymn goes, "Further along, we`ll know more about it, Further along we`ll understand why" but I would amiss to just leave my thoughts here.

Reguardless of your comparison of Dr. Pollard tp Pastor Steve, I must say that should our Pastor be found less than truthful, he would not be the right man for any season.

Truth is a mainstay, a cornerstone, a must for every believer and we can expect no less from our Pastor. Shepherds are called to lead the flock in Truth, to equipt the Saints with Truth, and Should we accept less than a truthful Pastor, then we would be asking for less of JESUS himself, who is the Truth.

It is my desire to see our Pastor as pure and I pray not one allegation is true but should it be, then I pray he repents before GOD and men and that he steps aside for the good of Christ`s church and the same for each person who is found on the otherside of Christ`s word.

I would also like to reflect on what the Bible teaches us about arrogance.

Arrogance is a sin, not a attribute and the Bible also teaches us that the LORD would have his servants to be humble, bold, and courageous but never arrogant.

Remember my friend, that uur battles are of the Spirit, not of flesh and blood and with that we must not conclude that we need anyone to defend the flock in their own strength, no matter the season.

Again I appreciate your thoughts and I hope you find my own worthy of your time in reading.

For His Glory!

RM said...

One Member,

When you put up a blog for all to see don't complain when people around the world view it. I have been a strong supporter of Bellevue for over 25 years so please don't be so condescending. No wonder you folks are having troubles. By the way, I will continue to read and comment as long as I see fit.

Ed_T said...

FYI, according to the Communications Committee, the wording of the "statement of support" is not in its final form as of Sunday night (Nov 12).

ET

stillwaitingandwatching said...

RM said...
One Member,

"When you put up a blog for all to see don't complain when people around the world view it. I have been a strong supporter of Bellevue for over 25 years so please don't be so condescending. No wonder you folks are having troubles. By the way, I will continue to read and comment as long as I see fit."

It's one thing to view it, quite another to comment on things you cannot possibly know anything about. You have not witnessed any of the things we have. You have not been told to leave for simply asking a question. You have not had little old ladies who have served in your preschool ministry for generations sit in a leadership meeting with their little lips quivering and tears in their eyes while they lifted their shaking hands because they were scared to simply asked a question. You have not witnessed the pain and heartache of grieving members of a church family be told, four days after they laid to rest their beloved pastor of over 30 years, to "Let's move on. Let's look to the future," which is exactly what Dr. Gaines said from the pulpit the Sunday after Dr. Rogers' funeral. There was only one person (of course we were looking to Jesus too, I think you know what I mean.) our church was looking to in order to lead us out of the grieving process, Dr. Whitmire, and guess what, six weeks after Dr. Rogers' died....he was gone too. Let's not forget in the midst of this people have been told to leave if they don't like it. Let's not forget that staff memebers' jobs have been wittled down to nothing to the point where they feel like they have nothing to do at the church. And instead of sitting around wasting the church's money, they leave, "for a better opportunity."

The problem is, RM, our church is HURTING!!! It has been hurting for a VERY long time.....Dr. Gaines is just not in tune with his flock to know that his sheep are weary. His sheep are struggling. His sheep are scattering. This may be your own church too, RM, and you may never know it.

So, please, if you really are a pastor, encourage these hurting sheep. If you really are a pastor, you should be caring for us when our shephard isn't.

Tim said...

And so now it is a statment of non-support. This conitnues to have less and less to do with Bellevue Baptist Church and more and more to with church politics.

Attention: Deacons serve the church and its membership, if that includes supporting the pastor by all means do so. However, if it includes investigating and reprimanding or even removing the pastor, give us your confidence that you will do that also.

Quit posturing and posing, none of you are going to make the swimsuit edition of "Todays Christian".

New BBC Open Forum said...

rm,

Ditto everything "sw&w" said. And I'd just add to that, "And please don't heap more even hurt on us with your accusatory comments. You don't know nearly as much about all this as you think you do."

allofgrace said...

rm,
I've seen a few of you pastors come on here to chastise everyone here for this forum. I've checked out a few of you guys' blogs and websites...from what I saw, most of you have no business pointing fingers at anyone. You go on your own blogs and websites, trumpeting your own viewpoints, while thrashing your fellow pastors and anyone else who doesn't agree with you, from pastors in your own neighborhoods to denominational leaders. Take a break...you have the rest of your life to straighten out all us sinners.

Tim said...

Just a quick note and then I have to be off to get some work done.

It may not be news to anyone, but it is my understanding that David Bishop has resigned as a Deacon. It appears that the unanimous deacons (little "d" on purpose) are getting closer every day to becoming unanimous.

choice_is_yours said...

Luke's Good News for Bellevue for today



choice_is_yours said...
Here is the answer to a question:

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?


The answer lies in Matthew.

Matthew 2

1Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

3When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

5And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

6And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

7Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

8And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

9When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

12And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

13And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.


Look at these wise men. They traveled far.

Unfortunately, Herod was also not interested in wisdom.

And look at how he tried to find out the name of the Christ child so that he could come and worship.

All of us are guilty of wanting to do things our own way. So many time in my life I have wanted to cover up embarassing information that would make me look bad.

I read this text and realize that I am a sinner who does need to go and worship Jesus.

But my heart is not right. I am tempted to do things that would lead people away from Christ on a daily basis.

Fortunately, nobody in America is "as evil" as Herod. "Unfortunately" in God's eye's any sin is just as bad as Herod's.

If this text doesn't bring your heart to a stop in conviction the way it does mine, then I have not explained my point well and I apologize.

11/14/2006 07:16:14 AM
choice_is_yours said...
Sister NASS/NBBCOF
&
Brother Mike Bratton

regarding...


Mike Bratton said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
hisservant wrote:

"this blog and ALL others regarding Bellevue and private church matters are WRONG.

I guess you haven't had a chance to post that same comment over at the Bratton blog yet. Will you be getting around to that soon?

NASS

Unlike this one, mine is not a single-issue site. I have actually written about things other than the anti-Bellevue nonsense--which, apparently, knows neither shame nor boundary. And as I have time, I'll be writing about even more different and varied things.

Nass, have I shared any private church matters? Or, have I insisted that those who do such things cease and desist? And, what does this have to do with the deacon affirmation?

--Mike

12:29 AM, November 14, 2006



May I presume to place my nose somewhere that it might or might not belong?

I have asked Mike Bratton to witness online with me and he has agreed. Upon further investigation it appears that we need prayers because for him to succeed in witnessing at one of the sites, it will take some careful consideration.

You see, anyone who google's Mike's name is going to find all of this Saving Ballevue material.

Mike, you have been silently considering my point.

Sister NASS, you and I just talked yesterday about having i.p. addresses traced. The same thing can be done by the non-Christian websites that are under review for this endeavour.

Meanwhile there has been concern about Brother Mike's witness being damaged in all this debate. I have the utmost regard for Brother Mike's witness. There has been no further concern voiced.

Sister NASS, would you consider leaving your concern about the Bratton Report blog in my care?

I did not think much when I saw your comment yesterday. That shows my bias unfortunately.

And again my bias has reared it's head again because I saw your reply, brother Mike (above). And I immediately thought bad about you where I had not thought bad about our sister in Christ.

I repent.

Please forgive me for my sin of seeing one "side" as right and the other as wrong. This is a good case example.

Probably neither one of you sinned in the comments (above, italicized).

This is my sin alone. I hope you will accept my apology.


But now that I have repented I do want to stick my nose in here and attempt to prevent this topic of whose blog is more conforming to Christ from becoming a topic where rocks are thrown back and forth.

After all, Broter Mike, you are still silently considering my points about the google factor and your need for an anonymous name.

So, for Great Commission purposes, can we agree to set a good tone with a temporary truce on this comparison of these two blogs? Let's allow some room for the Holy Spirit to speak on this one minor issue among all the other issues.

There are pleny of other things to discuss.

For the record, I do hope that both blogs will maintain a healthy balance of non-controversial topics just like the history of bellevue published here and some of the topics that have crossed the home page of the bratton report. But let's just be still on this please?

I note with pessimism that I have not finished reading this thread and there already may be more discussion on this topic.

But I did decide to stop and write this down.

It is currently 11/14/2006 07:16:14 AM

and I just now read to
12:29 AM, November 14, 2006

on the thread



* New Deacon Loyalty Pledge Thread


11/14/2006 07:42:32 AM

Karen said...

I'm not good at quoting scripture, but I think God speaks to me through music as well so I thought I'd post this song. It just says to me that God is in control, regardless of what his sheep are up to:


Phillips Craig & Dean - You Are God Alone

You are not a god
Created by human hands
You are not a god
Dependant on any mortal man
You are not a god
In need of anything we can give
By Your plan, that’s just the way it is

Chorus:
You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
Your are God alone
And right now
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone

You’re the only God
Whose power none can contend
You’re the only God
Whose name and praise will never end
You’re the only God
Who’s worthy of everything we can give
You are God
And that’s just the way it is

New BBC Open Forum said...

choice,

I was merely speaking my opinion which was voiced by several others here. Why don't we agree to just not discuss Mr. Bratton here at all, or you and he going to other sites and witnessing or whatever your plans are? Maybe you and Mike should continue to discuss all this privately and not bring those issues here at all since it really has nothing to do with Bellevue.

Respectfully,

NBBCOF

choice_is_yours said...

Beautiful posts, brothers and sisters...








cjesusnme said...
NBBCOF....I know this doesn't go under this post, but the Lord laid this on my heart to share.....


Hisservant,

I am 42 years old, a wife and







padroc said...
...
The questions I am asking myself are: Am I being loyal to God? In everything I think, am I being loyal to God's word? When I speak, will I show myself disloyal to the principles and precepts of God? When I type, will these same principles and precepts "sit" on my shoulder as if responding to the Holy Spirit to direct and edit the thoughts and intents of my heart in words?

I would imagine that if all of the bloggers were thoughtful, sensible, and thinking more highly of others than of them selves, following the leading of the Holy Spirit and the whole council of God’s word, there would NOT be much to blog about. Unless we would get all excited about bragging on God and couldn’t wait to tell about what Jesus is doing. Could happen.







OldTimer said...
...

Believe it or not, this is not the first time Bellevue has been beset with controversy over the ordaining of a new senior pastor. And I am confident this will not be the last time controversy falls upon Bellevue when they replace their leader.



cjesusnme,

Thank you for sharing your salvation story. I hope that you did not give away your identity.

Concerning yout father, I will pray for him.

It is always the right time for salvation. Don't be afraid to witness to him in this dark time. I posted a comment about the centurion who confessed Christ as the son of God just after helping crucify him.

Surely times are not "as bad for the body of Christ" now as they were then.

It's not always necesary to wait for "just the right time," to talk about how you were saved. Show him what you posted here today.

Tell him you had the courage to share your story here about your salvation, even if it gave a way your name. There are not many at BBC who are "42 years old, a wife and ..."

peace,
Choice

Tim said...

NASS,

You are correct in this if Choice & Mike would like to correspond there are other venues that the should choose.

I believe it was our beloved "Rick Warren" who said it's not about Mike.

choice_is_yours said...

Lyrics for In Christ Alone



In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This cornerstone, this solid ground;
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love! what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My comforter, my all in all;
Here in the love of Christ I stand!

In Christ alone - who took on flesh;
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness;
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
'Till on that cross as Jesus died;
The wrath of God was satisfied.
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live!

There in the ground His body lay;
Light of the world by darkness slain.
Then bursting forth in glorious day:
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death:
This is the power of Christ in me.
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
'Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand!

Stillamember said...

Ok, now it's obvious there's questionable things going on.

My mother(who is one of our devoted preschool teachers) ran into someone the other day in a store and wanted to know for herself what was going on. Now I'm just repeating what I heard, but apparently 2 well known people showed up to a meeting the other day and Steve Gaines got so angry at them in front of everyone that their faces turned red. You would know these people well and they were shocked at the reaction Steve Gaines had given them. The woman continued to say that her and her husband both were treated very badly.

Steve Gaines joined the Colonial Country Club when he moved here which is one of the most well known country clubs in the city.

My first question is WHY ON EARTH is our pastor a part of this club and why did he feel the need to join a country club which my mother refers to as the "drinking club". She's baffled by this.

Now, it's obvious that there are things going on that the pastor needs to be humble about and come before the congregation. He is ignoring these issues and hoping they will go away. Some of the actions this pastor has taken are NOT the actions of a pastor we're used to nor of a pastor in GENERAL.

My main question is, if he knows that all of this is going on, WHY on earth would a humble pastor ignore all of the hurting he KNOWS he is causing.

I know far too much and it's not that hard of a problem to solve that we have going on here. He needs a lesson in humility. That's all there is to it. He needs to stand before the congregation and settle all of this. Ignoring it is going to make the problem worse and if he continues to do so he's going to have to except the fact that he brought it on himself.

Tim said...

A thought occured to me concerning the idea that Deacons that would not sign or laymen that did not support such a pledge were anti-Bellevue.

The thought is this. Aren't those that are against abortion called anti-abortion and yet they call themselves pro-life. The pro-abortionist call themselves pro-choice. So which is right, what is the correct terminology.

If there are those that choose to refer to me as anti-Bellevue, because I do not support our pastor in what he has been doing, then so be it.

I would like to expound on the things are indisputable about what our pastor has been doing. The "he said / she said" arguments have little or no influnce upon my opinion.

1. Our pastor has lied to us both knowingly and willingly from the pulpit.

2. Our pastor has abused the pulpit to propagate self serving and self promoting sermons.

3. OUr pastor has mocked us, both before he came to be our pastor and after he came to be our pastor.

4. Our pastor has at the very least been instrumental in the removal from our staff of what we know to be good and Godly men.

5. OUr pastor has belittled those that do not agree with him and will not submit to his supreme authority.

6. Our pastor has done nothing to gather our church together and lead as a shepherd should.

..7..8..9..This list could continue on and on. These are items that are not slanderous. We have witnessed and are sure that these things are true. There are no unfounded accusations that are made in this list.

Now, should or Deacon body not stand and oppose such actions. By the grace of God, we know that they should. Does that mean that it will be a pleasant process? Absolutely, not.

Has it come to a point where the only alternative is to remove Dr. Gaines our accept his resignation. Indeed and sadly I must say that I belive that it has. A reprimand and an apology to the church body at this point would have no similance of sincerity. It would appear to me that even if Dr. Gaines were to make a public apology today, after all that he has put our church thru, would be nothing more than an attempt to keep his "job", which is something that it never should have been in the first place.

I have become so wearied by the constant and consistent attempts to "spin" the truth and play politics within the church that I must come along side my Brother Mark sharpe and call for Dr. Gaines to resign.

david said...

Dear friends,

I am a pastor who was startled to see comments on Bellevue’s website that made it obvious there was friction within the congregation. I spent considerable time looking through your website. Your allegations of lying and misuse of church funds is serious. Further study leads into issues of church growth, polity and methods.

1. Exactly what are you upset with Dr. Gaines about? His leadership into some more contemporary area’s, or moral concerns? One of those issues you may have a Biblical leg to stand on; but it looks like you are accusing him of everything you could possibly think of. May I ask: Are you angry that things are changing at Bellevue, or are you upset about a credit card?

2. Why are you choosing to air issues with the house of God before the world? Sounds to me like Dr. Gaines and deacons even went to the home of his accuser, and then was further accused of harassment. Was he not following the very words of Scripture? If someone has something against us, did not the Lord say to go immediately to that person?

I am afraid your accusations against God’s Church before the world are serious violations of God’s Word. Matthew 18 instructs us to reconcile. Your pastor came to you to do just that. Instead you have chosen to publically smear the Man of God and your own beloved Church; the Bride of Christ.

ezekiel said...

Pride is an easy thing to fall into, especially when you have Dr. Rogers, the search committee and then the Deacons talking to you and begging you to be our pastor and paying you what you want, overlooking your faults, covering your sins.

Then when you preach, many souls are saved and man you sound so good doing it..........

Pretty soon you begin to think what do I need God for.....

That is when you get the hammer. That is when you find out that God will use everyone around you to remind you of who HE really is.

The real question is whether this softens his heart or hardens it. Only he can make that choice.

Hopefully there will be enough loving brothers and sisters around him to pick him up and dust him off after the fall.

The old saying "Pride goeth before a fall"..............

God's Will will be done. And all the signed statements from the folks that are puffing him up will not keep God from accomplishing his desire.

For all those folks that think we should sit silently by while King David sins, please remember Nathan had a job to do. He did it and King David repented then returned to his faithful service.

ezekiel said...

Pastor David.........

Maybe a short answer to all your questions. Dr. Gains came to Belleview and changed our hay. We did not like that but I am sure in time would have made the adjustment. But then he started running us off, asking us to leave and demanding that we don't question his authority. Several lies later about credit card charges, fence height and such and now the flock is scattered all over the pasture and adjoining woods. WWJD? So far he has not quit running us off long enough to come look for us...........

Tim said...

ezekiel,

Amen and Amen. This is not a matter of style or prefernce but of Biblical principle and we should not be required to suffer thru while a pastor struggles to grasp that.

david said...

Ezekiel,

Most respectfully, I remain confused.

How can he be scattering you when M.S. refused to meet with the pastor and deacons? Am I correct in my understanding that IS what Jesus told us to do? (WWJD) Leave our offering and go meet with the person.

The sheer number of charges against the pastor makes an outsider think that perhaps there is no one specific charge that would stick. After all, if he changed his pay and racked up a church credit card, that's enough. You don't need arguments about leadership style; he violated basic ethics if the credit card issue and pay issue are true.

To move from the credit card issue to leadership issues seems to cut to the heart of people's real problem. That is: They are upset over changes in worship, but they know that won't stick, so thank God for the credit card alligations. But if the credit card accusations are true, nothing else is needed. (Sorry for overstating that!!!)

As Old Timer pointed out, any new pastor will make changes; he won't be like the last guy. However, the church does not have to tolerate moral failure. By posting so many alligations credibility is lost. Why not cut down to the heart of what this is about?

Anyway, I remain concerned that brothers in Christ could be taking their concerns to an inproper forum. Many of our accusations have merit, I am sure. But is there no one spiritual at Bellevue who can judge?

"Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! I say this to shame you. I sit possible that there is bobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?" (1 Cor. 6:3-4)

Is there no one in your church both sides trust to serve as judge among you? This is where Scripture and theology becomes real. We will one day judge angels; can we not deal with a brother in Christ? Must we degarde the Body of Christ to the lowest form of apeal; the internet?!

MOM4 said...

Pastor David and others,
When Steve Gaines was petitioned to come to Bellevue, he told the search committee that he would wait one year before he made any changes. Yet, he immediately went about tearing down what those who had gone before him took years of labor in love and dedication to the principles of the Lord to build.
He disregarded not only our feelings as a congregation, but those on staff. We who were and are suffering the loss of Dr Rogers and the dedication of faithful men of God who were serving under him.
He not only lied to the search committee to get the job, but I would assume that he would have had to lie to Dr Rogers as well about making changes too quickly. Dr Rogers was a wise man and I can truly believe that he would have discussed proposed changes and the need to move slowly during the times of transition. When Dr Rogers went home to glory, Steve Gaines already had his plan in motion to gut the leadership and put his own people in play. That would have been fine, and we all expected changes, but not vicious and heartless tactics from him and those to whom he had bestowed "power" to form his inner circle.
Those of you who are commenting have not sat in his self serving and arrogant sermons, watched while the choir dwindles away and seen the tears in the eyes of the seniors as they are shoved aside. The childcare workers are leaving, the tithers are sending their love offerings to other carefully chosen worthy causes, and the staff is afraid to speak for fear of retribution.
At what point would think enough is enough? Are you aware of all of his personal agenda issues, does any of the above sound like a man after God's own heart? The fact is, it does not matter whether he put something on a credit card or a charge account, the man lies and has lied to the search committee and if for no other reason than that, he should resign in shame.

Anonymous said...

David- thanks for the post, but the issues of credit card abuse, music, leadership, worship style, rude behavior, etc. are secondary to the problem of honest communication. A "firewall" has been erected between pastor and people. All but two of the pastor search committee are now serving on the new Communication Committee. In other words, the group of people who called Steve Gaines to Bellevue are now the very committee who are defending his actions. The reason for this blog and others is because the people have no direct access to the pastor. I will be kind and say that the truth has been twisted concerning the salary process, use of credit cards, meeting with Mark Sharp, Craig Parker, David Smith, Jim Whitmire...the list goes on. Of course every pastor has his own way of leading and communicating, but the "best practices" taught in seminary include; dealing with and loving people, respecting differences, openly communicating, and truth-telling which are not being observed. The faults of the last year have been rookie mistakes. The issues are truth and trustworthiness, so let the pastor speak directly to the people.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

See, this is the problem we have when outsiders come in and take a look at the blog and then voice their own opinions.....

Dear Pastor David,

It appears to me that you have not really read everything that is on this blog. If you did, you would know exactly where we stand. For example, did you read Mrs. Germillion's "Facts." If you had, then you would not be asking the questions you have posed. And trust me, you are not the first pastor from outside the walls of Bellevue to ask these questions, which, are answered every single time in the same way. Underneath her thread, you would also notice several responses agreeing with her. Her "Facts" would make it blatantly clear the issues that we are having, and they just don't surround credit cards. As a matter of fact, I think it has been stated by more than one individual that the credit cards aren't the issue for them.

You said...."Most respectfully, I remain confused." With utmost respect, and with a hint of frustration, could it be because you are not here??? Those of us who ARE here and dealing with this, aren't confused.

You have also said..."Anyway, I remain concerned that brothers in Christ could be taking their concerns to an inproper forum." Could you also be referring to our PASTOR taking his concerns to a sister church in another city?

I don't mean to come across as being disrespectful. I am just getting frustrated with people, even pastors, who are outside of the walls of Bellevue using this forum as an opportunity to voice their opinions on which they know nothing about.

Let me say this.....the issues surrounding our church have been issues for over a year now. It wasn't until the SB site (even though I don't agree with much that is on there) or the blogs came into existence that our church began to deal with these issues. We now have committees that are doing a VERY good job at trying to meet with the membership in order for healing to begin. We have leadership who are now being made aware of issues that they had no clue people had concerns over. This NEVER would have happened if there had not been a forum set up in the first place.

Please read my previous post from today at 913am addressed to "RM." I think it can possible be applied to you as well.

With utmost respect.....sw&w

1john3 said...

Pastor David,

"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."

Pastor David,
From last Sunday's Love Offering attendance, we can see that this is not only about a few members trying to run our pastor out. It is majority of us. We all are hurt, but our leaders does not seems to care. They just want all of us to just leave. We all love Bellevue so much that we will not leave, but to bring the truth. Truth is more important than Unity.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

1john3 said....

"Truth is more important than Unity."

Amen, brother. Who taught us that?? :)

choice_is_yours said...

"Must we degrade the Body of Christ to the lowest form of appeal; the internet?! "

-anonymous

David,
Tell us why you speak anonymously.

Or tell us that we are not the "lowest" and that we are not "degrading the body of Christ."

You do not know any of us and even if you did you have "arrogance" to judge us so easily. (Where have I heard that word, "arrogance" before?)

Please get my tone correctly. I am speaking humbly and gently as a kind reminder that you are among friends, brothers and sisters when you speak to us like this.

Do you not see that we "the sheeple" are tired of being beat over the head by the shepherds' "staffs", no matter what they (the "staff") are paid?


And here I am awaiting the next blow that will fall on me and my family just for asking you this question with all the humility I can muster.


Have mercy on us, shepherd.

Have mercy on us in the name of Jesus Christ.

You have no idea how some of us have been treated.

And we are all ready to forgive if only the phone would ring with a loving "tone."

May you have a good day, and may these words bring no reproach from you... please...?

Choice

Tim said...

The same person that taught us that standing alone with the truth was better than standing with a crowd in a lie.

1john3 said...

"SEND OUT THY TRUTH AND THY LIGHT" across the front of our magnificant church building!

ezekiel said...

Pastor David, do you need a job? (humor)

You are asking the same questions we have been asking for quite some time. Why not haul the origial complaint/issue before an objective group of people and have a "person of integrity" judge the charges and stop all this. To this point that has not been done and frankly I do not know why.

The folks, and I call them Deacons right now, that should have hauled this all out and put the spot light on it have mostly surrounded the Pastor and want to run around signing unscriptural oaths or whatever they are calling them today, showing they support the Pastor. The word seems to be "rope a dope them".

In other words run off the folks that ask questions and dare to question the Pastors supreme authority, create a communications committee and anything else they can do to delay, buy time and hope all this goes away.

I heard one time that the reason they were not doing this was to protect the reputation of the original complaintant. Come on.....

The heat just keeps rising and little tidbits of truth start coming out and the more they say the more guilty they appear. The BIBLE has a lot to say about that in Eph 4:1-5:17. A lot of folks are all hung up on the legality of Mat 18 and just totally miss the Biblical point of truth and light.

To answer your question about the Judge, to this point the only folks allowed to see any evidence are the folks that show up on all the committees, in other words the power Deacons. They are on every committee, even the search committee.....Smell anything yet?

1john3 said...

Pastor David,
Have you read about why our pastor not preach on Wednesday evening? He said he wants to spend Wednesday evening with his daughter to raise Godly kids. That very Wednesday he went on to speak at other church on Wednesday evening and mock us in front of other church members as if all the Bellevue members are "stupid". On only that, from the publications of brochures from other churches, he has a long list of Wednesday evening's engagements at other churches. Things would have been a bit different if he has just tell us the truth that he had other engagements with other churches on Wednesday evenings, and that he will , from then onwards, would turn down all future engagements on Wednesday nights so that he could be with his daughters. Pastor David, the truth is that he had plainly lied to the congregation, and make joke about that! You area pastor, will you do that to your congregation? He can said he loves Bellevue as much as he wants, but actions proof the other way.

choice_is_yours said...

My goal for coming here is to help my brothers and sisters in Christ worship God and fulfill the Great Commission.

Correction on previous comment:

I have already forgiven the people that I perceived to have mistreated me.

And there does seem to be some reconciliation.

There is hope for the rest of my brother & sister sheep.

And my story will never be told because there is reconciliation coming out of this.

Peace
Choice

1john3 said...

Pastor David,
Do you have a church credit card? Does your church pay for your country club's membership? If you do, would you cut them all out, and cancel the membership?

david said...

Thank you, but I am happily employed!

1. May I ask: Has anyone gone to the forum the deacons are offering on Sunday morning?

2. And: Doesn’t the church have a business meeting (please don’t’ accuse me of not reading EVERYTHING... remember, I’m employed and don’t have time to read everything!). Typically I picture church discipline and serious church discussions happening at business meeting. If you are a non-profit organization, at least an annual business meeting is required by law.

If more than one pastor has spoken to you with concern about the appropriateness of posting allegations against your pastor before the world, how many must speak before you listen? Have all pastors lost credibility with you? Have the Scriptures lost credibility?

Paul wouldn’t even allow a lawsuit to go before the ungodly, just as well an open attack on the world wide web. Think about this, brothers: If Paul did not want ONE pagan judge to be confused by believers arguing, do you think he would approve of you going to the entire lost world?

david said...

No, I do not have a credit card. the church has a "purchasing agent." I do not go to country clubs.

Karen said...

Pastor David,

While I'm sure you mean well, this has been going on for over a year and I don't feel it's your place to condemn us now. Thanks for your concern and continue to pray for BBC.

1john3,

Don't forget he can't preach on Wednesday nights, but finds time to preach for i2 on Thursday nights. And he also finds time to be out of the pulpit at least once a month if not more from now until December.

mom4 said "Steve Gaines already had his plan in motion to gut the leadership and put his own people in play." The following list shows how Steve Gaines/BBC Leadership has dealt with Dr. Whitmire, which has been my main problem since the beginning:

1. Mark D. was the one that stripped Jim of the Minister of Music title.
2. Mark D. used his authority to undercut Jim's authority and made the working environment horrible for Jim.
3. Mark D. forced Jim to use the Praise Team full time.
4. When Steve arrived, he basically ignored Jim.
5. Jim wanted to stay at BBC until after the S. Baptist Convention in June 2006 - Steve said no.
6. Jamie and Dana were looking to buy a house here in Memphis in October 2005.
7. Steve made Jim take Jaime to the SBC - while there, BBC choir had an opportunity to sing for the convention for about 30 minutes; Jaime turned it down.


Karen

Karen said...

Pastor David,

You wrote:

1. May I ask: Has anyone gone to the forum the deacons are offering on Sunday morning?

Actually it's a Commucations Committee and only 2 deacons are on it. That's addressed on the Communications Committee thread of this blog.

2. And: Doesn’t the church have a business meeting (please don’t’ accuse me of not reading EVERYTHING... remember, I’m employed and don’t have time to read everything!). Typically I picture church discipline and serious church discussions happening at business meeting. If you are a non-profit organization, at least an annual business meeting is required by law.

NO! We haven't had a business meeting in I don't know how long - that's one of the reasons the blog came about.

1john3 said...

Pastor David,
Thank you for your answers. Without those "temptations" can avoid a lot of potential problem. Our leaders ought to learn from you.

choice_is_yours said...

"If you are a non-profit organization, at least an annual business meeting is required by law."

what?

MOM4 said...

Karen,
Those were things I did not know. I am sick to my stomach when I think about all of the horrible ways our fellow brothers and sisers in Christ have been treated by this man and his power team. In times like these, my heart goes back to Jeremiah 23. That is my prayer.
The Lord is moving and working in ways we do not see at this time, but like I have said before, He has not moved us to another church and He has not given us peace about leaving, so He has a plan for us to remain for this season anyway. The damage that has been done can not be repaired, but we can move forward when the truth is known and reconcile where it is necessary and forgive where forgiveness is needed, but there are consequences for sin, even the sins of a pastor.

lol. said...

1john3 said...
Pastor David,
Have you read about why our pastor not preach on Wednesday evening? He said he wants to spend Wednesday evening with his daughter to raise Godly kids. That very Wednesday he went on to speak at other church on Wednesday evening and mock us in front of other church members as if all the Bellevue members are "stupid". On only that, from the publications of brochures from other churches, he has a long list of Wednesday evening's engagements at other churches. Things would have been a bit different if he has just tell us the truth that he had other engagements with other churches on Wednesday evenings, and that he will , from then onwards, would turn down all future engagements on Wednesday nights so that he could be with his daughters. Pastor David, the truth is that he had plainly lied to the congregation, and make joke about that! You area pastor, will you do that to your congregation? He can said he loves Bellevue as much as he wants, but actions proof the other way.



From what I heard from Brother Steve that night, this post is not correct on several accounts.

First of all, he didnt say he was going to spend Wed with his daughter. He said he spends Wed going to committee meetings and meeting deacon couples to get to know them. He said by doing this on Wed night instead of preaching, it frees up several other nights during the week that he is able to spend with his kids. There is no lie there, and I personally see no problem with having others preach on Wed night.

Secondly, he doesnt preach at other places every week. I dont know his full itinerary, but the schedule I saw posted, showed only 1, sometimes 2 times a "month" that he goes to other places. And that included a pastor conference and the TN Baptist Convention. Traveling a few days a month, would not be as time consuming as preparing and preaching a sermon every Wed night. Having Wed freed up to do committee meetings, also allows him to travel on occasion if he needs. Again, no lie in what he said.

And lastly, although not really important, I believe it was actually Monday(not Wed) when he went to Union City and preached following the Sunday Night meeting where he explained why he didnt preach on Wed night.

Hope these points will cause some people to re-examine the Wed night deal and how they are using it to call Bro Steve a liar.

New BBC Open Forum said...

david wrote:

"I spent considerable time looking through your website.

"How can he be scattering you when M.S. refused to meet with the pastor and deacons?"

"Sounds to me like Dr. Gaines and deacons even went to the home of his accuser, and then was further accused of harassment. Was he not following the very words of Scripture? If someone has something against us, did not the Lord say to go immediately to that person?


Sir, I'm confused by your statements above. If, as you said, you have spent "considerable time" reading through the comments on this forum, then how could you possibly make the second two statements?

Mark Sharpe didn't refuse to meet with Steve Gaines or the deacons. He in fact met with Steve Gaines alone at first and was reportedly not openly received. He requested a meeting with the deacon body, only to be refused -- by Dr. Gaines. So it's not the way you stated. It's in fact the exact opposite.

As for your second statement, again, if you've read much at all (see the "Fence" thread) you would have seen that Mr. Sharpe was not at home when Pastor Gaines and three other men (the associate pastor, chairman of the deacons, and a former chairman of deacons) all climbed over a 4-foot tall fence surrounding a gated community (which was clearly marked with "No Trespassing" signs) and knocked on his door. They didn't bother to call first. After not finding him at home Dr. Gaines made no further attempt to contact Mark Sharpe. Oh, I forgot. According to Mark Sharpe who states this was heard by two witnesses, Dr. Gaines called him late at night three days later and called him "Hezbollah" and stated he was "sending people to hell" (which isn't even Scriptural which I'm sure you know). Does that sound like someone with reconciliation on his mind?

I don't think the Bible tells us to break man's law just to go talk with someone when you can pick up the phone and make an appointment. Of course they didn't have phones back in Bible days, but they didn't have cars or gated communities either. However, surely you get the idea.

1john3 said...

cc,
Thank you for clearing that up for me. I am sorry that I was wrong on that.

Anonymous said...

Karen: I for one would love to know where you got your list about Dr. Whitmire from?

you might want to make sure you have the facts straight before posting for all the world to see.

this is a perfect example how rumors start and why we are where we are today. people just say stuff and others believe them and everything snowballs from there.

Derrick Calcote said...

Guys,

It is with great trepidation that I speak up again, but let me say this.

I've read from a few of you (stated as fact) that the Pastor has misused his credit card.

THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE.

Even the "Saving"Bellevue website has (finally) recanted this.

Unfortunately, by the posting of this slanderous lie, damage has already been done.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

choice_is_yours said...

Derrick Calcote,

Can you help with something?

stillwaitingandwatching said...

In light of Karen's post above, it appears that these problems could all be stemmed from Mark D. Could it be that Mark D. is the root of the problems at our church?? I don't think this has ever been brought up, but it appears this just might be the case.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

hisservant said...

"you might want to make sure you have the facts straight before posting for all the world to see.

this is a perfect example how rumors start and why we are where we are today. people just say stuff and others believe them and everything snowballs from there."

Why don't you give the poor woman a chance to asnwer your question before you accuse her of not having all of her facts right. It appears she got the information from some where....remember she just met with the Communications Committee.

Anonymous said...

I continue to see post after post that contain personal preferences etc. I have asked and will ask again. where is the Sin?? where are the Sins Brother Steve and others have committed. I want facts, not rumors. not he said, she said. what Sins have been committed?

regarding all the "changes" that have been made. can someone please list for me all these major changes and the problems they have with them. we are back to personal preferences are we not?

lol. said...

1john3 said...
cc,
Thank you for clearing that up for me. I am sorry that I was wrong on that.


No problem. Glad to help clear up a misunderstanding on what was said that night.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Derrick,

Okay...the credit card stuff is not true. Can you please take your focus off of that one issue and address the other concerns on this forum, since you appear to have answers. Forcing focus on the credit card issue is a diversionary tactic from the other issues.....address the issue concerning Dr. Whitmire for starters. Thank you.

1john3 said...

cc,
Just curious. The honest, polite, and truthful way you answer and present the facts, sounds like Paul Williams. Are you Paul Williams? If you are, thank you Lord! I look up to you (Paul Williams) because you/PW is a man with most integrity and Godly that would stand for Truth and Light. If you are not, I pray that PW will help us clear things up a bit. Can someone get him/PW to join in, because I know he will be honest, polite, truthful, loving, humble, and everything that a minister should have to serve.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

hisservant said...

"regarding all the "changes" that have been made. can someone please list for me all these major changes and the problems they have with them. we are back to personal preferences are we not?"

Again, I refer you to Mrs. Germillion's post of "Facts." Maybe that will answer this neverending, recurring question. (sigh)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I will let Karen answer. but trust me, that information/list did not come from the Communications Committee.

lol. said...

1john3 said...
cc,
Just curious. The honest, polite, and truthful way you answer and present the facts, sounds like Paul Williams. Are you Paul Williams? If you are, thank you Lord! I look up to you (Paul Williams) because you/PW is a man with most integrity and Godly that would stand for Truth and Light. If you are not, I pray that PW will help us clear things up a bit. Can someone get him/PW to join in, because I know he will be honest, polite, truthful, loving, humble, and everything that a minister should have to serve.


No, Im not him. Im just an average member of Bellevue, who would love to see our church reconciled.

Derrick Calcote said...

choice_is_yours said "Can you help with something?"

I will try. What can I help you with?

Feel free to e.mail me if you wish.

dcalcote@msn.com

stillwaitingandwatching said...

CC,

Man, I was hoping you were him too. (sigh) Since you're not, maybe we can request you to take over Phil Weatherwax's job. You seem to be more in tune with the heart of those concerned than he is. (smile)

Anonymous said...

1john3: this is the 2nd or 3rd time I have had to try and correct the info that you and others are putting out about Wed, nights. Brother Steve said that on Wed. nights he meets with committee's, youth groups, etc etc. he does that on Wed. nights so that the OTHER nights of the week he can spend more time with his family.

Brother Steve has made some GREAT "changes" and this is one of them. a great one. we used to have committee meetings almost every night of the week. people were spending lots of time away from their families. many of those same meetings are now held on Wed. and Sunday's. Days that most are already on campus. that "change" came from Brother Steve. he wants us spending time with our families.

in the future, I hope you and others post the facts about Wed. night AND what Brother Steve said!!

for what it is worth many of these Wed. night revivals etc have been scheduled for a long time. the future will be different and that is known

Brother Steve has been a true blessing to me and my family.

MOM4 said...

SW&W,
We are still waiting clarification on the credit card issue. I stated earlier today, that although it may have not been on a credit card, it was a personal charge to the church and there are other charges under scrutinity as well. This violates our provisions under our 501(C)3 status (tax-exempt). Even if he did pay it back, we do not know if he paid the taxes on the purchase and even then, it is a potential violation. Mark Dougharty should know that and so should Chip Freeman and should have discouraged it from the beginning. I have no problem with a one time mistake he may have made, and I am sure no one else would either, but why cover it up?
And Steve Gaines DID lie to the search committee -How many lies does it take to make you a liar?

choice_is_yours said...

Deacon Calcote,

It was reported that only 15 forms have been received. Only 6 people have questions, etc.

If you will look at this website you will see 20,000 visits (not hits- try hitting your "refresh" or "F5" and the number won't go up).

There are several polls here that show more than 15 people coming down on the votes one way or another.

I believe that whoever says that "only 15" or "only 6" needs to also be reporting what anybody (literaly) in the world, can see right here.

Now, as far as actually getting responses from the communications committee or other leadership.

You, brother deacon, are clearly the liason to this blog. Surely you are not just coming here in "trepidation" for your own amusement.

And we do not blame you when time and again your statements are found 100% in error. We do not "blame the messenger."

And we do concur with you that if there is not improved communication, these errors and rumors will continue to multiply.

You have a high level of regard here.

So please do the leadership's credibility substantial favor by asking them to bump up the "15" or the "6" to "100". Just get the number of people voting on one of the polls.

Your presence here as an official liason acts with equal weight as if every single one of us bloggers showed up in coat and tie and formal attire to one of the convenient sunday morning venues.

And by continuing to come here you are showing acceptance by the leadership of the fact that our anonymity in no way diminishes our status as purchased by the blood of Christ.

So let's try and improve the communication channel.

Thank you for being our liason to the communications committee and to the highest levels of the leadership.

Thank you,
Choice

Anonymous said...

no, the "problems" at Bellevue do not stem from Mark D. and yes, that has come up several times

Derrick Calcote said...

stillwaitingandwatching said: "Okay... the credit card stuff is not true. Can you please take your focus off of that one issue and address the other concerns on this forum, since you appear to have answers. Forcing focus on the credit card issue is a diversionary tactic from the other issues.....address the issue concerning Dr. Whitmire for starters. Thank you."

With all due respect, it is hard for me to take the focus off of the credit card thing when it something that people keep slandering the pastor over. And unlike other issues there is not and issue of "he said she said" so to speak, as the facts speak for themselves, but still the slander continues.

As far as the thing with Dr. Whitmire goes, everyone from Pastor Gaines on down says that was handled poorly. So the question is not "Was this handled poorly?" It was. The question is "Where do we go from here?"

All I can say about that is that the Pastor, the staff, the communications committee, and the deacons all see setting things right with the Whitmires, and also the music ministry as a whole as the #1 priority.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote
dcalcote@msn.com

Anonymous said...

what kind of business meeting do some of you want? 7000+ people and an open mic?

with the things I have read and heard on here and other sites and all over town, a "business" meeting would likely be a disaster

choice_is_yours said...

Does anyone know if Mark Sharpe would be willing to meet here for a business meeting with a representative of BBC leadership?

Perhaps we could have all of this settled today?

choice_is_yours said...

http://www.robertsrules.com/

StumblingServant said...

I vote for the business meeting and the open mic.

It couldn't be any bigger a disaster then this already is.

david said...

Karen and others,

I did not set out to "condemn" you. I asked you to examine Scripture and expressed a Biblical opinion that it is wrong to take your case before the world. Instead of answering Scripturally, you went after me. I have held to 1 point: Get off the web and deal with your church problem Biblically.

I also want to clarify that a 501C3 must have at least an annual members meeting. Usually the state (our state) prefers quaterly, and most church's elect to have monthly meetings. (Ours has quarterly). anyway, the church cannot function under tax exempt status without the members of the church meeting at least annually.

I find it strange that when i suggest you use Scripture, you attack me. Again, you don't know me. You are the ones airing this before the ungodly. You've gotten this into the press, on the web and seem to shout anywhere you can get a voice. Knock it off, or show me a Scripture that says you can create websites actually attacking the Body of Christ.

stillwaitingandwatching said...

david....

Well, obviously the Scripture doesn't address the internet, however, I don't think anyone has had a problem with Paul's letters to the Corinthian churches being published in the Bible for people 2,000 years later to read and learn from.

david said...

So you're publishing this for the world to learn from? That's really pulling a fast one around Scripture, and you must know it.

I am saddened that while you hold ginuine concerns about your pastor, you are so unwilling to follow Scripture. Why?

Tim said...

HisServant said...
I continue to see post after post that contain personal preferences etc. I have asked and will ask again. where is the Sin?? where are the Sins Brother Steve and others have committed. I want facts, not rumors. not he said, she said. what Sins have been committed?

1. Our pastor has lied to us both knowingly and willingly from the pulpit. He knew that one of the reasons that he would not be preaching on Wednesday nights was because he had other speaking engagements. What we were told is a half truth and therefore a whole lie. Lying is a sin. Period.

2. Our pastor has abused the pulpit to propagate self serving and self promoting sermons. Anyone that wants to help me back this up join on in. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. Serving yourself and not God is a sin. Period.

3. OUr pastor has mocked us, both before he came to be our pastor and after he came to be our pastor. I believe both episodes occured in Union City. Belittling the flock that you are tend and love is a sin. Period.

4. Our pastor has at the very least been instrumental in the removal from our staff of what we know to be good and Godly men. Enough said to that look at the mass exedous of our church staff. Seeking to promote yourself by removing those in authority that may oppose you is sin. Period.

5. OUr pastor has belittled those that do not agree with him and will not submit to his supreme authority. Most of this occuring within his "sermons" in the pulpit of Bellevue, the meetings with the Deacons, at sister churchs. Again lying to the members of this sister church, claiming unanimous support, and that all the strife was caused by 3 or 4 in discent. Lying is a sin. Period.

6. Our pastor has done nothing to gather our church together and lead as a shepherd should. This is self evident. Not to mention the fact that he had opportunity after opprotunity to have addressed these problems and was to arrogant to allow any one to question "his integrity". Yes, arrogance is sin. Period.



..7..8..9..This list could continue on and on. Sin is Sin. Period. The fence is not "itty bitty". A mistake of the mind and not the heart (which I doubt), but nevertheless is sin. Period.

What of this can you deny as sin? Perhaps we should redefine sin so that it is not so of Dr. Gaines. God Forbid.

Anonymous said...

Mom4: your posts AMAZE me. you post as if everything you type is fact. it is the exact opposite. and NO, Brother Steve did not like to the Search Committee. far from it. remember, many are also mad that he was so blunt and open with the search committee during the process.

which is it?

again, he did not lie to the Search Committee.

it amazes me that you and others sit on the board and disrespect God's anointed and call him a liar. you have NO facts and it shows. but you do have plenty of he said, she said rumors.

can we please stop slandering God's anointed. please

stillwaitingandwatching said...

Derrick,

Thank you for your response. The issue is not credit cards, for me, atleast, since that can be so easily disproven. So, we agree on that.

You said...

"As far as the thing with Dr. Whitmire goes, everyone from Pastor Gaines on down says that was handled poorly. So the question is not "Was this handled poorly?" It was. The question is "Where do we go from here?"

All I can say about that is that the Pastor, the staff, the communications committee, and the deacons all see setting things right with the Whitmires, and also the music ministry as a whole as the #1 priority."

I am so glad that the leadership has finally acknowledged, after a year, that that was handled poorly. Now, I can assure you that a public apology, to every member of the Whitmire family, the choir, music ministry, and the church family would go a VERY long way towards reconciliation.

I pray that this happens very soon. Thank you for addressing my concern.

choice_is_yours said...

from Roberts Rules FAQ...

Question 19:
Can we hold our board meetings by conference telephone call?

Answer:
You may hold board meetings by conference telephone call only if your bylaws specifically authorize you to do so. If they do, such meetings must be conducted in such a way that all members participating can hear each other at the same time, and special rules should be adopted to specify precisely how recognition is to be sought and the floor obtained during such meetings. [RONR (10th ed.), p. 482, l. 28, to p. 483, l. 5; see also p. 159 of RONR In Brief.]

It should be noted in this connection that the personal approval of a proposed action obtained from a majority of, or even all, board members separately is not valid board approval, since no meeting was held during which the proposed action could be properly debated. If action is taken by the board on the basis of individual approval, such action must be ratified by the board at its next regular meeting in order to become an official act. [RONR (10th ed.), p. 469, l. 24, to p. 470, l. 2.]


Roberts rules forum where question 19 was brought up




----
to David,

"I also want to clarify that a 501C3 must have at least an annual members meeting. Usually the state (our state) prefers quaterly, and most church's elect to have monthly meetings. (Ours has quarterly). anyway, the church cannot function under tax exempt status without the members of the church meeting at least annually."

**You just used the internet to say our church is going against federal law. please be more careful with such slander.**

stillwaitingandwatching said...

david said...

"So you're publishing this for the world to learn from? That's really pulling a fast one around Scripture, and you must know it.

I am saddened that while you hold ginuine concerns about your pastor, you are so unwilling to follow Scripture. Why?"

No, sir. It's not for the world to "learn" from. I think the purpose of this forum is spelled out plainly on the front page in the margin. However, my point was that Paul's letters admonishing the Corinthian churches are published in the Bible. But no one has a problem with that. Surely, you really knew what I meant.

And all I can say about your last comment is that it is getting really old, especially coming from someone who is not here. Do you know how many times that statement has been made over the last few months?? It is not new to anyone...and really....as it has been said MANY MANY times....the reason for this forum is because MATTHEW 18 HAS NOT been able to be fulfilled!! The last part states that they must be brought before the church. How else can the issues been brought before 30,000 people. Please, Pastor David, if you are going to continue to post here, come up with something fresh and new. Thank you.

david said...

Stillwaiting,

gosh, I need something new other than my Bible?

Perhaps if MANY many many people and pastors have said the SAME thing to you, you should listen.

So, let's see:
We have the words of Scripture.
We have the council of other believers.
And still, you openly attack the Bride of Christ.

Since my church is slightly smaller than 30,000, how you hold members meetings is not my issue. I doubt they are being held here on this blog, sir. This is not a meeting of the church.

The atitude that no one can say anything unless they are there is curious. The reason Paul wrote letters is because he wasn't there. You are the ones who put this before the world, so don't sulk if someone (or MANY) say: Hey, this isn't Biblical.

But, as you requested, I will withdraw adn take my annoying thoughts about Scirpture with me.

Seriously, maybe someone should examine the tax code. A business meeting is required.

david said...

Choice is yours:
**You just used the internet to say our church is going against federal law. please be more careful with such slander.**

Slander? Sorry. I told you what the fedral law is. I don't know what your church practice is. It was not an accusation against your church.

Actually, I would assume your church is in compliance with federal law; unless you are actually a Baptist church with no business meetings!

Karen said...

hisservant wrote:

Karen: I for one would love to know where you got your list about Dr. Whitmire from?

you might want to make sure you have the facts straight before posting for all the world to see.

this is a perfect example how rumors start and why we are where we are today. people just say stuff and others believe them and everything snowballs from there.


My parents are VERY close the Whitmires and they got it from them. We've watched the Dr. Whitmire debacle more closely than anything else that's gone on the past year. I do know of which I speak and I will defend it vigorously. I just hope Mark D. doesn't climb my fence tonight - oh wait, I don't have one.

Thanks for defending me stillwaiting..... :)

Derrick,

I really do apologize for bringing Dr. Whitmire up again - you're right. Nothing more could have been gained from bringing it up. I'm sorry. My flesh got the better of me when Pastor David posted. I really do apologize - I just got ticked off.


Pastor David,

"Condemn" was the wrong word choice on my part - I apologize to you as well.

Karen

stillwaitingandwatching said...

David....

You seriously make my head want to explode. I will no longer talk with you about this. You just aren't getting it and I will no longer waste anymore of my time with someone who is not a "family member."

Okay....

Next topic for discussion....

Tim said...

I suppose it is my personal preference that we have a pastor that does not SIN in the pulpit, a pastor that does not SIN in deacon meetings, that does not SIN in his relation to staff members, that does not SIN in relation to his congregation. I am seriously going to have to get over this appaul that I have for sin. This is after all a new era and we are under new leadership with different methods of doing things. SIN.

Tim said...

Isn't that the new "Rick Warren" principle.

(S)top others tha oppose you.
(I)nvite them to leave
(N)ever admit that you are wrong.

david said...

Why, when asked to obey Scripture, does your head want to explode? I presented 1 Cor. 6, which you did not respond to.

I am glad I don’t pastor a church that acts this way. We have this crazy idea out here that Baptist are “people of the book" and "we have no creed but the Bible."

If I were you I would also take acts 5:1-10 into serious consideration.

Tim,
You do not have to tolerate sin. You are commanded by the Word to confront sin; but you are also warned not to take your case to the ungodly.

Tim said...

We have begged...begged for an open business meeting and instead we have got an informational meeting. That is one where the pastor talks and those that he wants to talk, talk and everyone else listens.

And not one thing was done before the original blog was started. Not one thing.

Derrick Calcote said...

CIY,

While your impression that I enjoy some "official" status conferred to me by either the deacon body or leadership is appreciated, it is not accurate. And I assure you anytime I post it is with great trepidation.

The profitably of anyone posting here (including me) is very suspect. It can not be expressed how conflicted I feel when I post here.

1/2 of me says, "Look! There is something that is being said that you know is not true! Share the truth!" All the while the other 1/2 of me says I should not participate at all.

Sister Karen stated in the "Communications" thread that she we disappointed that there were so few people at the Sunday meeting asking questions. I shared her disappointment. It is much preferable for people to get information from people who have facts at hand, than to speculate either here or around our water-coolers.

As far as the anonymity thing goes, let us not go there, as it is a rabbit that does not need to be chased. Suffice it to say that my opinion differs from yours on that issue, which is why I sign my name to my posts.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote
dcalcote@msn.com

choice_is_yours said...

We have been told by an unbiased observer, a baptist, a minister, that, "Seriously, maybe someone should examine the tax code. A business meeting is required.

3:33 PM, November 14, 2006"


If BBC stands in violation of federal law then it becomes the duty for one of us...

...to stand up at the next church invitation time and speak to 4 or 5 people on his row and say "I move that we go into business meeting."

Then if one of those 4 or 5 second the motion, then it is just a matter of walking up to the person with the microphone and say,

"It has been moved and seconded that we go into a business meeting."

Then there could be a motion for point of personal priviledge to get the music turned off so that people could hear the speaker.

If could be just a five minute meeting for the purpose of giving notice of a business meeting to occur with one month's notice.

But I do not know the 5013c rules. I am only quoting a baptist pastor who has come here anonymoulsy to tell us our church is violating federal law.

He says that he knows both God's laws and man's laws better than I do.

I hope he's wrong. I wish he had told us his name.

Choice

MOM4 said...

His servant,
HMMMM, have you polled the search committee to know IF he promised not to make changes. I was told that they were "assured" more than once. I have done my homework. Maybe the "committee" should research this before you call Me the liar. I am amazed that no one is checking out these "allegations".

Karen said...

Derrick,

I really do apologize for bringing Dr. Whitmire up again - you're right. Nothing more could have been gained from bringing it up. I'm sorry. My flesh got the better of me when Pastor David posted. I really do apologize - I just got ticked off.

Just wanted to make sure you saw this in the flurry of posts this afternoon. You and I sat face to face (we didn't speak much), but you saw the hurt on mine and my mother's faces; mom cried and you know it.

The Whitmire thing will never be resolved to my satisfactions and I'll just have to ask for God's peace with it.

Karen

Karen said...

Derrick,

I am glad you're posting again. For awhile there I thought you were "hisservant". :)

Tim said...

Derrick,

Refute the truth of any thing that I have said. It is not "he said / she said" allegations. We have been witnesses and are sure that it is true. You can listen to most of it with your own ears, if you have not already and you will then know that it is the truth. As for the "communications committee", I am well familar with most of those on the committee. One particularly who said "We don't even want to see those receipts pastor". Perhaps they would prefer to communicate with stupid sheep.

choice_is_yours said...

"Tim,
You do not have to tolerate sin. You are commanded by the Word to confront sin; but you are also warned not to take your case to the ungodly.

3:47 PM, November 14, 2006

"


More advice from the visiting pastor to have a business meeting.

Derrick Calcote said...

SWAW said, "I am so glad that the leadership has finally acknowledged, after a year, that that was handled poorly. Now, I can assure you that a public apology, to every member of the Whitmire family, the choir, music ministry, and the church family would go a VERY long way towards reconciliation.

I pray that this happens very soon. Thank you for addressing my concern."

Thank you for your kind words and also for the advice.

All I can tell you is I know that great efforts are being made on this front. Efforts do not always equal progress, especially in the short term.

Please join me in praying for our Lord to be glorified through reconciliation among Dr. and Mrs. Whitmire, Pastor Gaines, the staff, the choir, and the music department as a whole.

This is where I feel our biggest challenge lies. In my heart I feel that if things can be set right on these fronts, that the other details will fall in to place.

Again, please join me in prayer for this.

Derrick Calcote

Karen said...

Isn't the "essence" of sin, a sin? For example (oh here goes Karen with the word pictures - LOL) if somebody from BBC sees me out at any bar here in town and I cause them to stumble in their Christian walk, is that sin on my part. I went to the bar to get hot wings; just have good hot wings. But the way it looks to someone else - me being in a bar where a Christian should not be - is that sin?

All that to say this: If Steve Gaines is giving the LOOK of impropriety in any issues that have been brought up on this blog, is that sin? If not, why not?

OK: BIG DISCLAIMER: I don't eat hot wings in bars, nor do I know if Steve Gaines eats hot wings in bars so PLEASE don't say I said it; I didn't imply or infer it either.

Karen

Tim said...

This is not the essense of sin, it is flat out willful, blatant, intentional, arrogant sin.

Karen said...

Tim,

I agree with you, but I want to see how much impropriety is actually sin - get my point? :)

Derrick Calcote said...

Karen,

Please check your e.mail.

Thanks,

Derrick

Tim said...

True, I thought that I understood, but wanted to clarify.

I am happy to report that there is no one with the unimitigated arrogance to argue the irrefutable areas of continous sin that are evident in our pastor.

With that said why would any of our deacons have the slightest inkling to sign a pledge of loyalty to this man, especially considering that there has been no repentance, nor do I believe any will come.

choice_is_yours said...

Heavenly Father,

I join with my godly brother deacon in his prayer request.

Father, please forgive me for any sins I may have committed in the past few hours with this tense conversation here.

Forgive me my sins of pride and bias which I battled with each word that I typed. Please forgive me the words and thoughts that came through as arrogant or demeaning.

I thank you for each person who blogged here today. Please bless each of these peace makers who have contributed in each of their well meaning ways to the Body of Christ, your only begotten son.

Please help the people who I have perceived to have sinned against me in the long ago past to know that I appreciate the efforts towards reconciliation they have made. Help them to know that my story grows ever more distant with each passing day.

Please watch over all of us and help all of us to grow closer to being more like your son through this dark time of soul searching.

In Jesus name,
AMEN


Good night to all.

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