Thursday, December 07, 2006

General Discussion Thread

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465 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Some of the congregation has awakened to the reality that our church has a set of "lay-elders," a close knit group of men who manage to be appointed to key positions year after year. The rest of the congregation needs to be awakened to this.

While the pastor took a step or two in the right direction there is still a long way to walk... Here are a few important changes that would help during these days of crisis in leadership:

1. Harry Smith, John Caldwell, Steve Tucker, Chuck Taylor, Bruce Brooke, and others who are part of this lay-elder "power block" need to be relieved of positions of influence for a long time.

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

3. Former staff should be allowed to address the congregation and/or the deacon body either in writing or in person without ANY fear of reprisal regarding their exit from BBC. Gaines has confessed to mishandling Dr. Whimire's exit... The congregation now needs to hear from Dr. Whimire--and several others--by letter or in person IN THEIR OWN WORDS. The congregation needs to know how their leadership has treated and is treating ministers who leave the service of our Lord through BBC.

4. The END of heavy handed dealing with ministers, staff, and members. AND the END of signing non-disclosure statements. All ministers who have been pressured or asked to sign such non-disclosure statements should be released from them in writing by BBC!

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

6. A quarterly business meeting with open mike Q&A with each committee chairman.
**The current bylaws mention "monthly" business meetings! When were they changed??

7. A transparent committee selection process.

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

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

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

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

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

13. Thorough communication with the Congregation for ANY capital project well in advance of any vote. Building prayer buildings or any other type of building should be brought through proper channels to the congregation for prayerful consideration--not coerced "rubber stamping."

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

14. Bellevue needs to reject Warrenism fully and finally.

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

16. Higher standards should be put in place for the hiring of "ministers." Seminary training should be considered a normal prerequisite.

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

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

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

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

All in my opinion as usual.

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

Anonymous said...

Do most of you even attend the services because you seem to ignore the continued overwhelming support and applause for the pastor.

Anyone who has a problem with others helping someone in need (regardless of who they are or what they believe) do not know the Jesus that I do from the Bible. How selfish.

Maybe the majority (which supports the pastor by the way) would start to listen to some of these accusations if someone were to actually produce some sort of proof of at least one accusation. (other than I heard, he said, etc.)And I refer to the serious issues, not petty ones like Mark used a different word to describe the "dream" than the pastor so one must be lying. Please!

Tim said...

rational,

You believe that the Jesus that you know would support a church that supports things called an abomination by Him.

Anonymous said...

The reason many of the same continue to hold and obtain various positions are because we would want the majority of those making those decisions to be proven leaders who have shown over the years to have goldly wisdom, loyalty, and integrity. Also, only a select few are willing to sacrifice the countless time and effort that it takes to hold these positions. Most who complain would not even be willing to give up so much of their personal time to do what it takes to hold these positions.

Anonymous said...

Jesus fed and healed sinners who were in need didn't he?

Tim said...

rational,

Jesus healed the blind and cured the lame.

but you said, that

You believe that the Jesus that you know would support a church that supports things called an abomination by Him.

Tim said...

rational,

This is not helping the poor it is supporting an apostate church.

david S said...

Last night someone brought up an issue (about a key) that really made me rethink some things.

Rational, maybe you should check some of last nights posts.

I'm not sure, either, of the weight of the gift to another church; it seems gray area to me.

Bluntly: If the "Key" story is true, how can it be defended? It isn't even addressed by CC.

Tim said...

david,

Could you define grey? Not the issue but the color.

David Brown said...

Blessmewiththetruth: Would you please contact me at your earliest convenience? It is urgent. NASS has my email addy. You can find my most recent post on the closed thread. I need to talk to you desperately. Thanks for standing up and seeking the truth. More later on what that means.

Tim said...

david,

Is the color grey not a mixture of black and white?

So spiritually would we not have a mixture of darkness and light. How can this be? If there is light it should replace the darkness. If there is darkness there is no light.

Grey is black that has been cleverly disguised.

Tim said...

rational,

The pastor said that there was no dream.

Mark Dougherty told David Smith, Bryson McQuiston and Mark Sharpe each on different occassions that Steve Gaines had told him that he had a dream about a man in our church being possessed. He went in great detail to descripe the dream that he had and how it reminded him of the demoniac that followed the apostle Paul.

Steve Gaines said there was never a dream. Mark Dougherty said he did not remember whether he had told these three about a dream or not, but if they say he did then he must have.

So either Steve Gaines (our pastor) is lying or Mark Dougherty (our asst. pastore) is lying or two other staff members and a deacon is lying. Does it not seem odd to you that Steve Gaines and Mark Dougherty will not meet with these three men with witnesses present to determine the truth.

Do you believe that a $1000 airplane ticket for a cheer leading camp is a legitimate moving expense?

Do you believe that it is ok to have personal item direct billed to the church in violation of IRS regulations that prohibit the co-mingling of funds?

Do you believe that it is ok for Bellevue to spend tens of thousands of dollars producing a video series by Donna Gaines that the profits will be taken by a company that is owned by Steve & Donna Gaines?

Anonymous said...

Tim,


You state:

Do you believe that it is ok for Bellevue to spend tens of thousands of dollars producing a video series by Donna Gaines that the profits will be taken by a company that is owned by Steve & Donna Gaines?

2 questions:

1.Can you verify how much money is being spent by Bellevue for these videos?

2. Does this corporation use monies gained for other ministries?

Thanks - Mark

Tim said...

telos,

The set that is being used was built at Bellevue and by Bellevue. The studio equipment being used is the property of Bellevue. Perhaps if the church opened the books we could all verify the amount that had been spent. The time and value of the churches equipment would have to be considered.

The company that is owned by Steve & Donna Gaines is unknown where the money is going. Unlike, Love Worth Finding, which was a ministry that Dr. Rogers was part of, we have not even been told by Steve Gaines the purpose of this company.

ezekiel said...

David, the "key" thing is bothering me as well. It is easy to overlook, not too much to changing the locks, we have probably all done it.

But..........

The way I read some of the posts regarding this incident, I am left with the impression that Either Dr. Rogers surprised Dr Gaines some time by using his keys or he went to Dr. Gaines office after hours......Either way seems a little out of character for Dr. Rogers.

Does anyone have first hand knowledge of why Dr. Rogers went there in the first place? When did he go in relation to the timing he is said to have told someone he had made a mistake. Was he picking up the umbrella he left in the corner or trying to get evidence
of some sort?

Anonymous said...

Tim,

Thanks for the info. I have been reading your posts the last few days. I respect your intensity and enjoy your humor. Having made some mistakes with my posts - can I make a recommendation? Until we know where the money goes can we keep the tone of the implication more respectful?

Additionally, I talked to a friend of mine the other day. He went to high school with Donna. He said that even then he could tell that God had His hand on her.

Thanks - YBIC - Mark

Tim said...

telos,

Granted! - Are you aware of anything concerning this particular project?

david S said...

Tim,

"Gray" means: UNDEFINED in the common vonacular. Why hound me over the word gray? Church's often give to humanitarian causes to help people they may not agree with theologically.

FUMC is "Christian" while there are differences in some specific area's of Doctrine. I'm not supporting the gift, Tim. I am saying that helping them doesn't seem to me to be an issue of "sin." Church leadership was trying to do the right thing in this case.

I doubt deeply Dr. Gaines is secretly a crazy liberal hoping to help liberal church's through Bellevue funds. Rational explanation is that they wanted to do good and help someone. I don't agree with the decision, but as I said last night, I've made some calls concerning other church's I later regretted.

Anonymous said...

Tim,

You said:

Granted! - Are you aware of anything concerning this particular project?

Reply:

No Sir, that is why I inquired. I would like to hear what you know.

I chimed in because I see a growing momentum towards anti-Donna. I think the facts are fair game. And that's what I would like hear. If I do find out anything verifiable I will be sure to contribute in that fashion.

Thanks for asking.

Mark

Tim said...

David,

I doubt that Dr. Gaines is a secret liberal either. But the fact that this was done without proper approval is a concern. The CC committee printed material says that the finance committee approved the disbursement. In the meetings with the CC committee they said it was not approved by the finance committee. Had it went thru proper channels and been handled as it should, then it probably would never have been written.

There was no reason for us to supplement this churches ministry, the loss caused by the fire was covered by insurance. They helped an apostate church not the people of the area.

allofgrace said...

Have we become so desensitized that homosexuality and abortion have been relegated to mere doctrinal differences? God help us.

david S said...

"Have we become so desensitized that homosexuality and abortion have been relegated to mere doctrinal differences? God help us"

"Mere doctrinal difference" is a pretty severe charge, actually.

We don't disagree simply on political grounds, but on DOCTRINAL grounds. It is a spiritual issue to us, not simply a political one.

Doctrine goes to issues of God and it is under the most SERIOUS things that we catagorize doctrine. The nature of Christ comes under doctrine.

david S said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
david S said...

Okay,

Let me try to reword that.

Tim,
Do you think the gift to FUMC was:

1. A mistake in judgment, done with a heart wanting to serve Christ.

2. A gift given to further the gay/ abolrtion liberal agenda.

3. Other...

Why do you think the gift was made?
From evil in the heart
Or a misguided decision?

allofgrace said...

David,
Some of the posts by folks who approve of or at least minimize this thing always seem to couch it in terms "just because we have some doctrinal differences doesn't mean we shouldn't help them"...to me it's more than just some minor doctrinal differences. You and others call them doctrinal differences...God calls them abominations. Any church or pastor who supports these things and calls them good has departed from the faith once for all delivered to the saints. As Tim said...it's an apostate church.

Anonymous said...

David,

We don't disagree simply on political grounds, but on DOCTRINAL grounds. It is a spiritual issue to us, not simply a political one.

Doctrine goes to issues of God and it is under the most SERIOUS things that we catagorize doctrine. The nature of Christ comes under doctrine.


Why not just say that the leadership was negligent. And this negligence reflects an attitude of carlessness that has showcased itself in many forms over the past year.

Mark

david S said...

allofgrace,

Doctrinal issues are what get people into heaven or hell.

If someone is wrong on the Doctrine of Christ, Grace, or Monotheism they have made an eternal mistake. Sorry if you don't like the term, but it is a doctrinal difference. I'm not in any way saying that is a small disagreement.

david S said...

Mark,
"Why not just say that the leadership was negligent. And this negligence reflects an attitude of carlessness that has showcased itself in many forms over the past year."

Because some of the charges go way beyond "negligent." Right? So why not deal with them. Not the one area where someone may have been trying to do something right and messed up!

Bin Wonderin said...

FUMC is "Christian" while there are differences in some specific area's of Doctrine.

FUMC is "Chrisitan" in the sense that the Mormons are "Christian".

david S said...

FUMC is "Chrisitan" in the sense that the Mormons are "Christian".

I was unaware that Methodest believe we can become gods, work our way to salvation, baptize the dead and add books to the Bible.

Methodest GENERALLY hold to a "normal" view of salvation when it comes to Doctrine. They are not usually in the camp we consider "cults." However, I understand your concern.

allofgrace said...

telos,
Exactly. Our leaders are supposed to exercise discernment and wisdom in handling the church's funds.

david,
The point I'm trying to make here is not a political one. It's true these things come under the general heading of doctrine..but I think just saying it's a doctrinal difference doesn't do justice to the weight of it. Subjects and mode of baptism are doctrinal differences...but baptism doesn't send people to hell, and it doesn't cost millions of lives every year like homosexual behavior and abortion...is this making my point clearer?

Anonymous said...

David,

"Why not just say that the leadership was negligent. And this negligence reflects an attitude of carelessness that has showcased itself in many forms over the past year."

Because some of the charges go way beyond "negligent." Right? So why not deal with them. Not the one area where someone may have been trying to do something right and messed up!

My brother you bring up a valid point. And we must be sure that we dont blur the lines. That is, Bellevue may have been negligent on this issue and morally wrong on a trespassing issue. Who truly knows. The emotion of the 25,000 is tremendous and the moral implications are serious. But we must be sure to categorize what mistakes are possibly negligent and what are moral.

I suppose in law, if you are continually negligent this becomes malice. And then, this becomes another issue. We must keep lines clean much like we must not mix funds:)

Mark

david S said...

allofgrace,

Yes, your point is clear.

Let me rephrase mine:
Do you consider the giving of the gift a moral failure on the pastors part or a discernment failure?

Did he do it with bad motive seeking to bring harm to Bellevue, or did he do it wanting ot help a sister church?

My point is: I'm not sure if this is a issue of moral concern about the pastor, or an issue of church polity.

Anyway, there are bigger issues on the table. Seems like maybe the time pastor tried to do something good, even that got messed up!

allofgrace said...

david,
You're making my point. An issue like this requires discernment...whatever the pastor or any other leader does, they do representatively for BBC. Don't you think the membership should have a voice in that? I've never said that Dr. Gaines or whoever is responsible for this did so as a deliberate moral failure..but it is irresponsible..and it sends a mixed message.

Bin Wonderin said...

David - I didn't say Methodists, I said FUMC. I am referring to that pastor at that church. Big difference.

Do you realize Martha Wagley (pastor FUMC) while at Germantown Methodist refused to remove a Sunday school teacher that taught the resurrection never really happened? That the disciples stole the body? That the whole thing is a metaphor? Do you know she allowed a teacher to teach children that the Old Testament was a collection of folk tales? Did you know she supports ordaining Gay/lesbian/transgender people as clergy? She ain't your typical methodist.

It is the digging in of heels and failure to admit, or even be able to identify the error of the gift that is cause for concern.

I can forgive a mess up. We can forgive and deal with that easily enough. But when those in charge cannot see there has even been a mess up, well, that is a much larger issue.

david S said...

Bottom line:

I see the "key" issue as major.
The whittmier issue as major.
The polity (church government) issue as very major! (Like, uh, when exactly is Business meeting!!!)

The Wed. night issue as minor.

The cheerleading camp as: Confusing.

And:
The fense jumping as... I don't get it.

Why not focus on and deal witht he major issues. Not the ones I see as major. I am asking: Are these actually points you see as major?

If too many issues are in the mix, you are accused of being nothing more tha "trouble makers who will never be pleased." However, if your points are clear such a charge become invalid.

allofgrace said...

It points to a fundamental problem in the way things are done..and it needs to be fixed.

david S said...

I guess my concern is: When you have 14 or more points you want addressed, I'm not sure leadership will listen. Why not refine it down to the core issues?

To be sure, I am not approving of any of it. It does seem the congregation is represented in the benevolance decision since it went to a committee. Committee's APPEAR to represent the "Church" at bellevue. ?

Bin Wonderin said...

It points to a fundamental problem in the way things are done..and it needs to be fixed.

That is my position. You state it with more eloquence than I. The failure of the leadership to recognize and admit that there is a fundamental problem with the way things are done is an even bigger concern in my book. Or perhaps it is an unwillingness to release power and change the ways things are done. Either way, if they are unable or unwilling to admit it is a mistake to provide funds to heretical teachers then one must ask can they be trusted in their role as stewards?

david S said...

I'll speak for one who has become SLOWLY convinced.

At first, there are so many alligations, that depending on which one you look at first determines how serious you take the charge.

I happened upon stuff like:
--At Gardendale he didn't have committees.
--He doesn't do wed. night service.
--He seems arrogant.
and so on.

"What a bunch of complainers!" Was my first thought. I'm afraid I may have verbalized that or worse.

over TIME as I examined it all and gave it thought, I began to think: Wait, there are serious concerns mixed in here. But it takes HOURS to find it.

Your case is better stated cutting it down to the issues that are serious in nature.

allofgrace said...

david,
I appreciate you concern for speaking with clarity and focus..and I say that in all sincerity. Perhaps the first things that you found...the order of it that is...is due to the order in which all these things became manifest. A haughty spirit..God despises..He says so in His word. I wouldn't think that would make him a complainer. Sometimes it's that very arrogance that can be the root of a host of even more serious problems.

david S said...

allofgrace:

i agree. Sometimes "arrogance" is something preceived, though, and maybe misunderstood. I've known some pretty humble people accused of arrogance. So the accusation can be pretty subjective.

BTW: I think what I noticed first were the big red headlines on savingbellevue.com.

Bin Wonderin said...

Did he do it with bad motive seeking to bring harm to Bellevue, or did he do it wanting ot help a sister church?

My take is ignorance & desire to help.

Ignorance on the front end is much more understandable than failure to recognize why this gift was inappropriate and taking measures to prevent a repeat mistake weeks after the fact.

Agree or disagree?

To be sure, I am not approving of any of it. It does seem the congregation is represented in the benevolance decision since it went to a committee. Committee's APPEAR to represent the "Church" at bellevue. ?

Well... Some in authority say it went through the finance committee. Others in leadership say it didn't ever get committee approval. In addition, committees are appointed, no congregational vote is taken on the members. Hard to say how it really went down.

Bottom line, right now BBC is an elder ruled church despite what the bylaws may or may not say to the contrary.

Bin Wonderin said...

As Tim said...it's an apostate church.

Apostate or heretical?

a·pos·tate One who has abandoned one's religious faith, a political party, one's principles, or a cause.

he·ret·i·cal Characterized by, revealing, or approaching departure from established beliefs or standards.

allofgrace said...

david,
I would agree something like arrogance can be a matter of perception...and if only one or two perceived it as such, then that would be grounds to think it was just opinion oriented...but quite a few more than one or two have perceived arrogance...usually if I'm the only one who thinks or sees something a particular way...I just assume it's just me and the way I'm seeing it..however when that number starts growing..and with people from 10-20 yrs back start saying the same thing, then I think it's time to think of it as more than just perception..perhaps discernment?

Will McKay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
allofgrace said...

woundupandbleating,
NASS has rarely deleted any comment...most of us could care less how many people click on our profiles.

2006Huldah said...

To All:

We have on here excellent posts by "25+yrs@bbc" (most recently at 6:39 PM, December 07, 2006)and one by "brokenheart" (7:42 PM yesterday, December 06), which are extremely insightful.

It also appears that there are several persons who are strategically placed to distract and engage some of us with less pastor incriminating topics such as the 25K donation to FUMC.

If we are ever going to be successful in getting answers and coming up with a way to actually resolve these issues, we need to try to "keep the main thing, the main thing".

New BBC Open Forum said...

The rule is you allow your profile to be viewable. Otherwise your comment(s) will be deleted.

NBBCOF

Anonymous said...

May God bless your Pastor and may God convict the hearts of the many on here who are close to judgement. I am praying this blogs gets a malfunction and quickly.

Will McKay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
allofgrace said...

david,
But I do agree with your premise of keeping things focused. Thanks for the insight.

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

The reason, as I've explained before, that profiles need to be visible is that we've had a problem with imitators posting under other people's screen names. If we can see the number of times someone's profile has been viewed, it can be determined if we're dealing with a fake or the original. No other information has to be revealed. So either make your profile visible, like everyone else has done, or don't post.

Thank you,

NBBCOF

Bin Wonderin said...

2006huldah

Just copy and re-post it over here so it is near the top of the thread if you feel the need to.

NASS,

What difference does it really make?


Helps to prevent trolls from assuming your screen name and posting things you did not write under your screen name.

allofgrace said...

2006huldah,
I've read both, and yes, they are very insightful.

Will McKay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
headoutofthesand said...

winning truth w/tim guthrie said:

May God bless your Pastor and may God convict the hearts of the many on here who are close to judgement. I am praying this blogs gets a malfunction and quickly.

Wow, Tim, what theological depth you display!

Do you often pray for mechanical failures for people who don't agree with you? Yet another pastor coming down to "visit" us with his astute and well-reasoned opinion--how lucky we are.

So, God should only bless Steve Gaines? And all that time I thought pastors would wish God's blessing on all believers. Well, I've been wrong before...

Your name is quite a oxymoron, isn't it? You claim "truth", but don't realize there are hundreds of heart-broken, hurting, soul-and-God-searching individuals at BBC trying to do just that--find the truth.

Please take your self-serving comments back to your radio show with you. I'm sure this place gives you plenty of material to make you feel more righteous than the rest of us.

david S said...

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

May I ask: Does FUMC do "significant humanitarian work"?

Anonymous said...

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie,

I went to your websight and you have 5 comments in two months. No wonder you come over here to talk to someone.

You need to go back and start reading to know what you are dealing with before you start counseling us. Do you treat your sheep the same way when you counsel them?

Dr. Rogers said before that it takes a pretty flat pancake not to have two sides. Read about all of the issues and responses and let the Holy Spirit lead you to the truth. If you are a pastor, you'll know what I'm talking about.

By the way, how cold is it in East Tennessee tonight?

2006Huldah said...

To All:

Whether you are a Bellevue member or not, you may be a follower of the Love Worth Finding ministry. I do not work at LWF, but I have begun to contribute more recently.

In the past BBC has given regular contributions to LWF. I do not know whether or not this is still true today. However, I received a letter today from LWF asking for help in giving all I can in order to help them start the new year off in a financially sound manner. They need to raise $1,677,320 by December 31. The letter is very touching to me since my love for our pastor, Adrian Rogers, has not waned with his passing to heaven.

In case you are wondering, Dr. Gaines and Bellevue have no connection or authority over LWF. The men who are in charge of this ministry have been proven to be the most trustworthy members of Bellevue from way back, and I have been in Bellevue since 1979.

They are praying at Love Worth Finding and trusting the Lord for the continuation of this ministry for the spread of the Word of God and to teach the love of the Lord Jesus. They also state that there has been an increase this year in the number of persons who have received Christ through this ministry.

Please consider LWF as a ministry worth finding to support in your heart.

Thank You,

Dee

2006Huldah said...

Friends,

For those of you who might read this and want to send something to Pastor Rogers' continuing ministry and yet may not have access to the address of Love Worth Finding, it is as follows:

Love Worth Finding Ministries
P.O. Box 38300
Memphis, TN 38183

OR for online donations:

www.lwf.org

All gifts are tax-deductible and much appreciated--large or small. They are really nice to you there.

Thank you, again,

Dee

Diana Hart said...

aog,

Re: 8:00 post - it would seem so.

Diana

Anonymous said...

5 comments! Try more than 3000 hits in two months on my website www.winningtruth.com

You guys will throw anything out as evil and attack. I do pray blessing on you as people but not as a group on this blog. Big difference.

Anonymous said...

Reposted for Dee,

Friends,

For those of you who might read this and want to send something to Pastor Rogers' continuing ministry and yet may not have access to the address of Love Worth Finding, it is as follows:

Love Worth Finding Ministries
P.O. Box 38300
Memphis, TN 38183

OR for online donations:

www.lwf.org

All gifts are tax-deductible and much appreciated--large or small. They are really nice to you there.

Thank you, again,

Dee

2006Huldah said...

Telos:

Thank you! Your caring is much appreciated.

Many blessings to you....

Dee

CH said...

From "winning truth tim's" website, under Our Mission:

If your church needs help with Capital Fund raising and or conflict resolution. We encourage you to call and see how we might partner together for glory of God's kingdom.

This is your ministry? Reaching across the state into an online forum to hurl bricks at people you don't even know and involving yourself in a serious discussion between members of a church you're not any part of?

Let's hope you're better at the fundraising part.

Furthermore, the "it's time to start WINNING!" tagline plastered on your site screams of everything that is wrong with evangelical Christianity in this country. What feel-good, shallow gibberish.

Heaven help us. Out of respect for our church, kindly go away and leave us be.

allofgrace said...

diana hart,
Saidly yes..it would seem so.

ch,
Right on bro.

2006Huldah said...

To winning truth w/tim guthrie:

Dear Tim:

Sorry to hear you think we are so bad on here and in danger of judgement. This runs really deep, though, and I am certain you have spoken without having full knowledge of our problem since you live in Knoxville.

On your profile you like old war movies, etc. Did you ever see "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"? Well, I hope so, because most all of us on here wanted Dr. Gaines to be our new pastor. Somehow, though, Dr. Steve Gaines has lost his "holy way" since coming to Memphis. This man who once filled our pulpit while Dr. Rogers was on vacation (or recovering from heart surgery) and humbly stated that he felt as though he was "standing on holy ground" has now told one of our godly deacons that he was acting like "Hezbollah" and has verifiably done many other unbecoming (to put it nicely) things. We blamed ourselves at first for the most unusual "checks" in our spirit. Well, I won't try to go too deep, but, please, believe me when I say that God has put us together at this time to do some kind of "work" here for a reason. This is not pleasant, but I assure you that some of the people here are very long-time members of BBC--respected, proven, loving witnesses to the Lord Jesus. They are sweet and gentle and have been hurt and run away from their church home. If it were only one or two, it would be more difficult to accept the truth of what has been going on at BBC.

I am sorry we look like we look on our outward appearance, but we rest in knowing that the Lord looks on our hearts. Please, just pray for us to have a speedy reconciliation and don't fall prey to the devil's schemes of getting you involved in a heated argument with us. That might lead us into temptation, too, and we do not want that. Just pray. Just pray.

Thanking you for your interest and knowing you will be praying for us all,

Dee

Tim said...

What does God have to say about unfaithfullness in finances?

Luke 16:10-11
10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

The $25,000...opps,
but hey you can still trust these guys as spiritual leaders, right? Trust you sons to the leaders that sacrificed to homo-sexuality. Trust your daughters to the leaders that sacrifice to abortion. Commit true riches to their trust.

Anonymous said...

Ch and everyone else, not trying to interfer. Please read ( I also emailed "ch" this same statement.

I was asked by a member of your church in a non-professional manner, to review the blog. I did so and for several weeks. I noticed that over the last two days things really heated up and though you may have legitimate needs, the speech went way out of line over the last 24 hrs.

I have been researching churches with problems and can assure you that I am not weak in theology or of the PD mindset in terms as described on your site and that which you obviously think of me by a “bi-line” is totally off (…run that you might obtain (gain or win( the prize…, run to win…). Your former Pastor was a mentor to me and one that I learned greatly from. In a class room, he once said to a group of Pastors, speak in love at all times regardless of how ugly the situation.

I may have failed with my post but I also believe that the blog is becoming more and more a failure in this area as each day goes by. It is becoming an example by many as to evil even though it may not have been intended to be so. I also had a more tempered post that was deleted by the owner. I am not sure how the last two made it through. Others have also experienced the same. You see, thousands are watching and I know of several Pastors who have to deal with similar blogs claiming to model theirs after this one, who are purely and simply dealing with a difference of opinion and yet, it has escalated to more due to the blog.

I am praying for Bellevue as a whole and yes I am still praying the technical problems shut it down or that the tone changes drastically.

Anonymous said...

CH and everyone else,

I was asked by a member of your church in a non-professional manner, to review the blog. I did so and for several weeks. I noticed that over the last two days things really heated up and though you may have legitimate needs, the speech went way out of line over the last 24 hrs.

I have been researching churches with problems and can assure you that I am not weak in theology or of the PD mindset in terms as described on your site and that which you obviously think of me by a “bi-line” is totally off (…run that you might obtain (gain or win( the prize…, run to win…). Your former Pastor was a mentor to me and one that I learned greatly from. In a class room, he once said to a group of Pastors, speak in love at all times regardless of how ugly the situation.

I may have failed with my post but I also believe that the blog is becoming more and more a failure in this area as each day goes by. It is becoming an example by many as to evil even though it may not have been intended to be so. I also had a more tempered post that was deleted by the owner. I am not sure how the last two made it through. Others have also experienced the same. You see, thousands are watching and I know of several Pastors who have to deal with similar blogs claiming to model theirs after this one, who are purely and simply dealing with a difference of opinion and yet, it has escalated to more due to the blog.

I am praying for Bellevue as a whole and yes I am still praying the technical problems shut it down or that the tone changes drastically.

New BBC Open Forum said...

tim guthrie wrote:

"I also had a more tempered post that was deleted by the owner."

You need to get your facts straight, sir. In spite of my personal opinion that they all probably should have been deleted, I haven't deleted a single one of your posts tonight. So don't accuse me of something I didn't do.

The only posts I've deleted today were from one poster who refused to make his profile visible and a couple of "e-mail me" posts that had served their purpose.

NBBCOF

Anonymous said...

In case you are wondering, Dr. Gaines and Bellevue have no connection or authority over LWF. The men who are in charge of this ministry have been proven to be the most trustworthy members of Bellevue from way back, and I have been in Bellevue since 1979.



Men in charge who are trustworthy and have been in Bellevue since 1979.

Interesting.

If these men could locate a God loving Gospel preaching pastor, I would love to be a founding member of....

Love Worth Finding Baptist Church.


The pastor sure would have access to a lot of good reference material, and there would be no misunderstanding of the ministry.


Just a thought......

Bin Wonderin said...

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

May I ask: Does FUMC do "significant humanitarian work"?


Hi David,

FUMC served the poor of inner city Memphis with a clothing closet and "soup kitchen" for lack of a better term. Perhaps another person better describe what their services are. However, there are also biblically based gospel preaching ministries downtown that serve the same population.

Also the story keeps changing. At first the story was BBC gave to FUMC to help rebuild from the fire damamge. Then it was learned FUMC was fully insured for the damage. Then the story became we gave to asist the humanitarian efforts of FUMC, not the church. When it was pointed out that there were other better options we could have worked through to pick up the slack the story became "we give to lots of humanitarian causes that don't preach the gospel or in fact preach a false gospel while giving aid".

It is frustrating because the story keeps changing and some aparently can't bring themselves to state that sharing the gospel while also giving aid is a better option than the one that was chosen. It is also very emotional for many because of the pro abortion stance of the FUMC pastor.

You cannot correct a mistake unless you can admit one occurred. Most of those in leadership and appear to believe the gift was proper and no change in policy is needed. They will not provide a list of what other organizations BBC is financially supporting.

Anonymous said...

Winning Truth w/Tim Guthrie said...
5 comments! Try more than 3000 hits in two months on my website www.winningtruth.com

You guys will throw anything out as evil and attack. I do pray blessing on you as people but not as a group on this blog. Big difference.

Reply - I dind't know winningtruth.com was a blog. I went to your blog that you produce and it has 5 comments in 2 months. I did not put anything out there that I didn't see with my own eyes. I'm not into word games. A blog is a blog. A websight is a websight.

Bin Wonderin said...

I said:
"we give to lots of humanitarian causes that don't preach the gospel or in fact preach a false gospel while giving aid".

Just to clarify I am talking about this comment from the CC:

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

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


I hope we can all agree that Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists not perfectly aligned with Baptist doctrine. The point is that money is fungible. When BBC gives funds to a Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu orgamization we are helping to promote their organizational vision of God and salvation. Of course we should feed and cloth individuals regardless of their beliefs as we are taught in the story of the good Samaritan. But, providing fungible assets to organizations that promote a false gospel is another matter.

I guess my perspective is this: If a Muslim leader asked BBC for funds to build a mosque in Memphis we would decline. Would the BBC position change if the Muslim mosque was also going to open a soup kitchen? Would that make it okay to help them build their building knowing what they would preach each week?

Telos said:
My brother you bring up a valid point. And we must be sure that we don’t blur the lines. That is, Bellevue may have been negligent on this issue and morally wrong on a trespassing issue. Who truly knows. The emotion of the 25,000 is tremendous and the moral implications are serious. But we must be sure to categorize what mistakes are possibly negligent and what are moral.

Even if we classify the $25k donation (call it the “first mistake”) as one of negligence, how do we classify the “second mistake” of digging in and defending the donation after all the relevant facts about FUMC have come to light. Is that second mistake also one of negligence? I don’t think so. I also don’t think it is too late to correct it, forgive each other and move forward as better more informed stewards. Who among us has not made a moral mistake they need forgiveness for.

allofgrace said...

allofgrace said...

mjm,
allow me to ask you a question. If the pastor of FUMC was a lesbian..would it be appropriate? Hopefully she isn't..but she supports it. Or, if FUMC performed homosexual marriages? Or funded abortions?

I've heard the good Samaritan story used to justify this gift. But there's a vast difference between a person and an institution.

For the sake of argument, let me illustrate the difference. If during the fire, a homosexual or an abortionist were seriously injured, then the good Samaritan principle would apply.

However, no one was injured..no individual..which is what the good Samaritan story about. Rather a building which houses an institution was damaged. An institution led by a woman pastor who supports homosexuality and homosexual marriage as well as abortion rights. Which means from her pulpit (institution), she preaches that what God calls an abomination, is good. This isn't something that "doesn't line up perfectly with Baptist doctrine"...it's the antithesis of it. Would Bellevue support an abortion clinic?...allow a homosexual marriage to take place in it's walls?..well, this gift gives tacit approval to such things. It simply cannot be justified.

3:52 PM, December 07, 2006

binwonderin,
Exactly. Big difference between organizational promotion of certain teachings, and individuals who subscribe to those teachings.

Anonymous said...

For What it is worth,

I told you the other day about my Church of Christ friend and how they added music and a Saturday night service with communion to their schedule.

My friend also shared with me, according to their pastor, that if only 10% of the people get angry and leave, he views that as normal.

What they discovered was after the 10% that left, they added 20% to the membership once everything quieted down.

So basically, if only about 1800 BBC people get mad about the changes, the leadership will possibly view this group as angry about the change in pastors, and consequential to any changes.

I am not saying it is right or wrong, it just appears to be most churches reasoning and logic.

2006Huldah said...

This argument over FUMC continues to take up the entire conversation around here. Whoever has injected it into our blog has been successful in consuming every waking moment of concern in the minds of persons logging on to this particular thread. Go back and read how other topics are ignored now and the FUMC one is brought back to centerstage. You are not fooling me. In the meantime other important issues get shoved to the backburner.

Love Worth Finding still exists but is in serious need of financial help. Your topic could have turned to this fact and really helped a good cause that many of us love. The ministry needs $1,677,320. by December 31. I would like to see them get it. It would be sort of nice if the word could get out on this web log and something really good could happen.

If all you want to talk about is the FUMC mistake, why don't you e-mail each other? We are bogged down in FUMC muck--and it is a muddy topic that makes me sick, too.


To "oldtimer":

Not a bad idea you have there. In the meantime, though, LWF may be gone from the world if somebody doesn't help them out financially. Personally, I am wondering if Bellevue Baptist Church still gives to LWF. You would think it would be that way, but who knows anything anymore.

www.lwf.org

Thank you,

Dee

Bin Wonderin said...

Personally, I am wondering if Bellevue Baptist Church still gives to LWF. You would think it would be that way, but who knows anything anymore.

In that sense the FUMC issue and the LFW issue are connected. Since we cannot get a list of who BBC has donated to in the past it is not possible to determine how much was given to LFW by BBC and if there has been a change in the policy regarding donations from BBC to LFW. Perhaps a reader can shed light on this. If there has been a change in BBC/LFW donation policy who instigated the polciy change and why.

2006Hulduh, are you aware of any change in the donations from BBC to LFW and if so who instigated the change in donation policy regarding LFW?

FWIW I am a long time listener and donator to LFW. I am so old I have many of the LFW series on cassette tapes and not CDs. (Cds are much better).

Anonymous said...

rm, mentioned your blog

http://www.sbobserver.blogspot.com/

This might be how the membership at BBC is viewing it as well.

Folks, I really believe you have an uphill battle. I doubt very seriously you will ever have a meeting, because many of you are very sincere, the lashing blessme put on here the other day, really diminished some of the credibility of this site (in my opinion).

As I was reading her posts, I got this mental picture. I pictured this is to be older woman, who had an unloving marriage (because of the many references to both husbands and wives). This situation has consumed her life, by constantly focusing totally on the things that are wrong in this world. She finally got to the tipping point and lashed out in frustration.

By the way this post is not to condemn or belittle her, when I focus on just problems and bad situations, I tend to get to the tipping point as well.

As I was reading her posts, I just had this mental picture of the above type of person, I could be wrong on that, just my observation.

Anyways, someone made a suggestion to focus on the big issues that are most important to you in a respectful way, and I promise you that will gain more credibility.

As we are learning from Iraq, you must be clear on the objectives you want achieved, what you are going to do, in a positive way, once those objectives are achieved (exit strategy).

Furthermore, what if those objectives are blindsided by an unwilling group of people that are indifferent to your opinions and accusations? The longer it goes, the greater danger of your membership being removed, then you are left without a voice.

Perhaps, they (BBC) called a meeting for those who are disgruntled (as some of you have requested). To prove that you are a member you have to sign in with a photo id proving you are who you are.

After everyone is in the room ready to fire off some questions, the leadership stands up and says, your membership has now been removed from the church roles. What then? The battle is over. Is that the best way, I don’t know. But either way, at some point this battle has to end, or everyone will eventually get to the tipping point.

An average person would just have to read some of the posts and he/she would be sympathetic more toward the church.

BR said...

pastor...
...regarding "bless me"
It is my understanding - and I may be wrong - but this is a wealthy business man who has had enough of this foot dragging....

But I may be wrong....

ezekiel said...

Dr. Gaines:

I have been among your harshest critics. I have not attempted coming to you personally, frankly the intimidation of your office and your reactions to date have just been to much for me.

I see you making the same mistakes I have made and my heart aches for you. I was saved at an early age and then wandered in the wilderness for 30 years. I have pursued wealth and fortune relentlessly in that time only to find that the family I ruled over lost respect for me and rebelled against me. I found myself having to get harder hearted and ruling with an ever firmer hand until I became a bully in my own house. Pride and arrogance were my daily companions.

I think a good message for us is found in Numbers 21:6. God sends serpents to punish us when we rebel against Him. Then Isaiah 30:6 All the money and riches we can load up cannot buy us salvation from the serpents any more than Israel could buy its safety from Egypt. Then Hebrews 12:2 Fixing our eyes on Jesus is the only way to heal us.

It is not about the money, power, control. It is not the strongest among us inheriting the Kingdom but the least of us. Humble service is what it is all about, Just Like Jesus.

Power plays like the one at Union University for control over MABTS, surrounding yourself with defenders and exercising domination over your staff and church volunteers teaching bible fellowship is not Humble service

Anonymous said...

br,

you could be right, but it really doesn’t matter who blessme is.

If I could just emphasize one point from my last post, we are all capable of the tipping point. I am a perfect example, I was at the tipping point, before I realized these were real hurting people in here.

Anonymous said...

Ezekial,

Thanks, that was a sincere humble post from the wisdom of experience.
(no sarcasm) and a lesson for me too.

ezekiel said...

For all those that question the motives of the people on this blog and the harsh tones you hear from some of them, I suggest a read of Numbers 25:10

25:10 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

25:11 Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.

25:12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace:

25:13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, [even] the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.


Phinehas had just speared an Israelite who was immorally involved with a woman who represented a people that worshipped Baal.

Zeal and anger are not wrong when the target is sin.

Anonymous said...

Pastor,

As a pastor, can you give us some advise when,if ever is it the right thing for a pastor to step down and resign from a flock? If the pastor has been known to have lied to the church, at what point is it ok for the flock to ask the pastor to step down?

What are some other reasons in your opinion that would be ok for a congregation to expect their pastor to step down for the sake of the church?

I know this may be a hard question for you to answer but I'm truly interested in your opinion.

Thanks

2006Huldah said...

To bin wonderin:

No, I don't know if BBC is still donating to LWF or not. I am going to e-mail someone there and find out, though. Later...

Dee

Anonymous said...

SWTT,

Myself being a type A personality, similar to your pastor, I can understand some of the potential blunders. I have a bad habit of fire, ready, aim, which I am continually taking before the Lord to impress upon me the error of my ways. I can totally relate to the fence jumping issue, as well as the itty bitty fence comment, that sound so much what I would have done. This is the reason why I come to this blog, you are teaching me so much about how sly little comments and actions can cause so much dissention. You folks have really caused me to understand how important, honesty, integrity and transparency is so important in ministry.

I would revert back to my original post of concerning the confidence vote.

If I were Steve Gaines, I would come forth with an honest written explanation. Then I would go forward with a confidence vote. However, take a look at the 10% issue I wrote about.

If there is genuine acceptance and approval from the pulpit by the attendees, then he probably does not see a problem with the majority.

My thoughts on stepping down would be, if 10 people disapproved of him and 100 people approved of him, He would probably go with the larger numbers.

Most (all) leaders recognize that not everyone is going to be happy with him/her. Therefore, they tend to rely on majority opinion.

I think you do have some things going in your favor. Your voices have not been completely ignored. Dr. Gaines has mentioned some of your objections from various pulpits, and they did put together the CC.

So, no matter what, I believe your voices are resonating within the walls of the church offices. Again, Dr. Gaines and the other leaders will also eventually arrive at the tipping point as well.

Which will cause the church staff to completely ignore the objectors, or move to more drastic means like baiting you and revoking your membership, or he would step down weary from the battle.

However, I do not see the third result happening if truly what he sees is 700 objectors and 6,800 approvers.

The congregation will also arrive at the tipping point as well. The ones with doubts will probably eventually move to other fellowships, the ones that are approvers will become even stronger. Remember, persecution is what caused the first church to be strengthened and grow.

From my understanding, the church is continually bringing in new people, and people are still coming to Christ under Dr. Gaines preaching. I know there are probably just as many people going out the back door as coming in the front, but average people in the pews don’t see that, they see the new folks coming in.

I think when people try to discredit the leadership that has been in place for years under Dr. Rogers, the folks on the fence immediately jump over to Dr. Gaines camp. (that is a weak observation on my part).

Anonymous said...

Pastor,

As a followup to the earlier question, have you ever seen a pastor that seemed to be a lover of money? What are some of the signs to look for in a pastor from a pastor's standpoint that would make you think his thoughts were leaning towards money more than pastoring his sheep?

The other question that I'm interested in your thoughts is how much money do you think a pastor should be paid compared to the average income of his sheep?

Thanks again in advance for your thoughts. We are all hurting sheep here and are looking for help.

Anonymous said...

City of Gardendale Forum is interesting today. http://www.al.com/forums/gardendale/index.ssf

Anonymous said...

SWTT,

I apologize for that long winded post. I dont think I truly answered your question.

When should a pastor step down:

1. Blatant Immorality

2. Confidence vote

When should a congregation demand a pastor step down.

1. Blatant immorality

2. Confidence Vote

Everything else has a tendency to end up being he said she said, and a difference of opinion.

Finance Guy said...

Pastor,
You may be right, and it's true that many people (as many as 2000) have already given up and moved on to other churches. (And this pastor doesn’t seem to care that his flock is being scattered-he can get more sheep with billboards and radio/newspaper ads). I just don't understand how you or anyone else from a distance can make judgments about who is right or wrong. Would you have given the German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer the same advice in 1939 in Nazi Germany? He was against the majority and the leadership. Yes there is sacrifice and pain, and there is not always visible success in this life. Those of you know of Dietrich Bonhoeffer know he paid with his life, but his labors were not in vain.

By the way, the leadership would never remove everyone there from the membership roles that way. If the leadership at that church is consistent on anything, it's the desire to avoid legal exposure at all cost. That could lead to the mother of all lawsuits, and some very ugly things could come to light. After some things that have happened in the past, and may happen in the very very near future unrelated to the current mess, I doubt that's a risk they are willing to take. And the other members who are honest, would doubtless see through and object to such a wholesale removal of members. It's just not Biblical (in any "version" to remove people from fellowship because they have objections to things that are going on). That would scream guilt on the part of the leadership.

I wonder if you are a part of the leadership and wish to plant that seed of doubt in everyone's mind. If so, you should be rebuked in the name of Jesus, preferably by the same person who rebuked the current Chairman of the deacons and the Saddlemaker.

Edmund Burke said it best: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Anonymous said...

SWTT,

Let me give you my thoughts from a personal perspective concerning pastor pay and love of money.

I have planted two churches which I am currently the pastor of. In one year one church averages between 120-180 people any given Sunday. The other church was started in September (meeting in a barn) and we are up to around 100 people.

I am paid $1,000 from the BGCT for each church, and each church pays me $1,000. I have to also work another job to provide for my family. One of the jobs involves a lot of writing (why I can post sometimes).

My average work week is about 75 hours a week, 7 days a week, while at the same time I do not neglect my family, I am gone from home only 3 nights a week.

Are my people being pastored well, no, due to my time restraints. But as a church planter it works for me and my congregation. Eventually a permanent pastor will arrive at one of these churches and tend to their needs as they grow in Christ.

I think there is probably a percentage somewhere on a sliding scale of what a pastors pay should be in regards to the church budget. Obviously, a church the size of BBC, the pastors demands would be much greater than what mine are.

I currently preach on Wednesday night, Thursday night and getting ready to start two times on Sunday morning. But a pastor is paid more than just for preaching, I am paid so much less than the average, but then I do so much less one on one ministry than the average pastor, however I still work about 50 hours a week for these churches.

I think if your pastor is receiving a pay package of around $120-200k that would probably be average for a church the size of BBC. Right or wrong, I don’t know. However, you do have a personnel committee that determines what a similar pay package would be for a non profit based upon the budget of that non profit.

The love of money aspect, it is my understanding BBC has a contingency of $25 million dollars. Just the interest alone would bring in over $1 million a year.

I am sure when the issue of giving $25k to FUMC came up, because of the size of your budget and savings, most decision makers thought it to be a small sum of money toward good will in the community.

I don't think you can have a church the size of BBC, allow members to go over every nickel spent because it causes people to look at the money instead of the work of Christ. However, because of the size of your budget and savings, transparency becomes even the more important.

I set my churches up with a finance committee. I have no credit card, nor am I allowed to sign a check. We only have business meetings once a year, our books are open to anyone and everyone. If someone has a question, I send them to the finance team. I understand how important it is to skeptical unchurched people to be transparent in financial matters.

I have to go to work now, feel free to email more questions, and I will post later, probably not till Monday.

Finance Guy said...

Pastor,
When you say "Blatant immorality" what do you mean? That he is openly living in adultry? So in your world, he could just "fool around" with the secretary/misuse just a couple $'s of church funds, smoke a joint but not inhale/etc, get caught, say I'm sorry, and all is well? Perhaps you are thinking of another Memphis Pastor formally of the large, UFO shaped church, and disagree that he should have been removed?

Anonymous said...

Financeguy,

Please note, I am not trying to defend or approve anyone. Please note the spirit of my posts.

I am just posting my thoughts, I am in no way implying I or anyone else is right or wrong. I am just trying to give some heart felt comments. And I agree completely with your post, I would not see the membership removal thing coming up.

However, I have seen other churches (like gardendale in CC,TX) do some drastic things when the tipping point comes.

I am not trying to put doubts in anyones mind, just some personal thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Financeguy,

If I told a blatant lie, I would confess my sin before the congregation and immediatly call for a confidence vote.

What I mean by blatant sin is simply, when the sin is found out, the majority of the congregation gasps.

I really have to go now.

Finance Guy said...

If I told a blatant lie, I would confess my sin before the congregation and immediatly call for a confidence vote.

Then you are different from our Pastor. That's not how he belives. There have been a number of lies and half-truths said from the pulpit in recent days with no apoligies or confidence votes. And before anyone asks for an example, the entire "why I don't preach on Wednesday night" story that's been discussed ad naseum.

Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

Bin Wondering, Dee, and To all.

Bin wondering my thinking is similar to yours in your 7:48 post.

Dee - You are quite welcome. I am thinking of ways to contribute. I think it is interesting that the love-offering and the deficit seem to be about the same figure? I am going from memory though.

To all. I am not sure about all of this. I want to share a story and then log off. I have to work. I had a powerful experience with Pastor Rogers about 3 weeks before he died. His last words to me - Thank You. My last words to him - No, Thank You. His eyes went through me and his politeness touched me to my core. He was a friend to all and I wont misrepresent my relationship with him. You see - I held open a door. I think it is important to clarify what we state so that we dont misrepresent the truth.

Cordially - Mark

Anonymous said...

To clarify - I held open a door and Pastor Rogers walked through.

New BBC Open Forum said...

pastor wrote:

"I think if your pastor is receiving a pay package of around $120-200k that would probably be average for a church the size of BBC."

Heh heh. BBC isn't your "average" church, is it?

choice_is_yours said...

"O Little Town of Bethlehem"

Words: Phill­ips Brooks, 1867.

Brooks wrote about his horse­back jour­ney from Je­ru­sa­lem to Beth­le­hem, where he as­sist­ed with the mid­night ser­vice on Christ­mas Eve, 1865:

I re­mem­ber stand­ing in the old church in Beth­le­hem, close to the spot where Je­sus was born, when the whole church was ring­ing hour after hour with splen­did hymns of praise to God, how again and again it seemed as if I could hear voic­es I knew well, tell­ing each other of the Won­der­ful Night of the Sav­ior’s birth.

Click to listen

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth!

How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv’n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

Where children pure and happy pray to the bless├Ęd Child,
Where misery cries out to Thee, Son of the mother mild;
Where charity stands watching and faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks, and Christmas comes once more.

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

New BBC Open Forum said...

gardendalian,

If you were or are a member of GFBC, could you possibly give us some personal insight?

david S said...

Pastor: “As I was reading her posts, I got this mental picture. I pictured this is to be older woman, who had an unloving marriage (because of the many references to both husbands and wives). This situation has consumed her life, by constantly focusing totally on the things that are wrong in this world. She finally got to the tipping point and lashed out in frustration.”

So, Pastor:
Do we classify that under “Dream” or "Prophecy"? (Smile, OKAY)

Pastor: "The longer it goes, the greater danger of your membership being removed, then you are left without a voice.”

I suspect they would be glad to be “removed” since that would mean somehow a BUSINESS MEETING had taken place! But I can’t really speak for anyone.

If you really are a pastor, don’t you think it strange no business meetings happen?

Where are you a pastor at? Who ordained you? If you’re not a pastor, stop posting under the name. Again, though you never answer, I am sure that any believer has the right to ask an ordained man who ordained him. Otherwise you have no right to post under the name “pastor.”

You gave a friends name last time. You give some vague biographial info today. So... I'm asking directly, sir:
--Are you really a pastor? where?
--Are you ordained? by who?

I'm not saying this to attack you, but to ask if you really are a pastor. You were enjoying secrecy so much and even taunting others with your "strange" e-mail address, it would be helpful if you could explain if you are now being truthful about being a pastor.

david S said...

A helpful book that I have read several times is “Too Great A Temptation” by Joel C. Gregory. Dr. Gregory deals with issues of the mega church, salaries and gives straight forward advice about how mega church’s should handle business. It is insightful to read someone who has been there, made some gigantic mistakes and deals with issues usually glossed over in a straight forward manner. I don’t know if the book is still in print, but it is worth your reading.

choice_is_yours said...

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Friday and knowing that soon we will gather again to worship you. Help us to take a break every week from the stressful situation before us. Thank you for having food for us in your scriptures. We are your sheep and you feed us well.
In Jesus's name,
AMEN.

For the purpose of this Bible study, click "Good News" in my profile.

Click for context of todays text.

Luke 6:43-49 (King James Version)

43For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

44For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

46And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

47Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

48He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

49But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Anonymous said...

Let's all pray for Bellevue! Let's all pray for each other. Let's all pray for Dr. Gaines. Our Lord taught us to love one another through it all.

Karen said...

You know I'm not a Scripture quoter, but this song has been speaking to me the last few times I've heard it - I hope it speaks to you too! Have a great day! Karen

Todd Agnew - My Jesus
From the album Reflection Of Something

Which Jesus do you follow?
Which Jesus do you serve?
If Ephesians says to imitate Christ,
Why do you look so much like the world?

Chorus:
Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
So which one do you want to be?

Blessed are the poor in spirit, do we pray to be blessed with the
Wealth of this land
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
Do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand

Chorus:

And who is this that you follow
This picture of the American dream
If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side
Or fall down and worship at His holy feet

Pretty blue eyes, curly brown hair and a clear complexion
Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins
But the Word says He was battered and scarred
Or did you miss that part
Sometimes I doubt we’d recognize Him

Chorus:

Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet might stain the carpet
But He reached for the hurting and despises the proud
I think He’d prefer Beal St. to the stained glass crowd
But I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud

I want to be like my Jesus
Can I be like You
I want to be like my Jesus

Finance Guy said...

Anyone going to the SCT this year? I was at the dress rehersal last night. It's weird how the plot line can be applied to the current situation at BBC. I wonder how long ago the script was written, and if the script writer meant any double entrende. I'd appreciate thoughts from anyone else who goes to the SCT this year.

Custos said...

I'd love to go, but chancing hours in a darkened room at Bellevue when my identity is known to eveyrone isn't an appealing thought. =)

Anonymous said...

Pastor,

I appreciate your thoughts. As I read them, I was just thinking how different things may be at BBC if you were our pastor. Since that's not the case, we'll continue to work towards resolving the issues remaining.

If I could ask a few more questions, please allow me. If you are tired of answering, I understand.

Do you have any knowledge of pastor's hosting trips to the Holy Land? Have you ever hosted a trip? If given the opportunity by the travel agency, would you add to the cost of the trip and pocket the cash without the knowledge of the people who had purchased tickets?
Maybe I should give another option that would allow you to raise the price just enough to get a free ticket for you and your wife but limit the increase to cover that cost and forgo the cash in the pocket.

By the way, I beleive you are busier than any minister on staff at our large church. We have the resources to have I think 25 ministers on staff for 10,000 active members. I'm sure you preach (even on Wednesday nights),do weddings, funerals, visit, councel, and maybe even clean the church from time to time.
I don't know you by name but I am going to pray for you right now that God gives you the health, strength, and heart to be a blessing to those around you.
You sound like a wonderful pastor to me. God Blees you.

westtnbarrister said...

Who and what crucified Jesus?

• Self-righteous religious leaders
• Hard-hearted hypocrites
• Cowardly compromise
• Thoughtless conformity
• Hard-hearted cruelty
• Casual indifference ("and sitting down they watched Him there" Matt. 27:36)
• Cynical skepticism

Adrian Rogers: circa 1993

Churchmouse said...

Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Here is a little something to think about. Test yourself by rating the following in order of their importance to you, with one being most important and 12 being least important.

__ informing myself on our church's issues at hand

__ maintaining my standing and reputation with church associates, teachers, and lay leadership.

__ supporting our pastor

__ protecting my ability to participate in church activities and classes

__ worshipping with my family in a church that is true to God's word

__ worshipping in a church who's leadership is a Godly example to my children

__ being an example to my children when conflict arises

__ assuring that my tithes and offerings are used in His service

__ placing my youth in a respectful environment of Godly worship

__ protecting my personal relationships at church by not offending my friends and extended family

__ protecting my children's participation in classes, activities

__ standing for TRUTH

"Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost its savor; with what shall it be salted? It is thereafter good for nothing, but to cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a lampstand, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, who is in heaven."

Matthew 5: 13-16

choice_is_yours said...

Yesterday, some discerning poster referred to:

1 Corinthians 13
1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

It is not relevant who that poster was. I do want to bring up another point that the same poster made in the same comment:

~We must call sin, "sin."~

This is an issue with the whole community tone which we are ever intending to raise to be as worthy of Christ's presence as possible. (Since two or more of us Christians are here, He is here among us watching, the Bible tells us.)

This involves the trolls, the bears, the anonymous posters, the pastors from other pastures, the radio show hosts, the paid employees that come here, all of us.

God hates sin.

I invite everyone here to speak boldly when explaining what is sin, using scripture. Do not use living people's names to do this.

I invite everyone here to speak gently, calmly, carefully when factually stating who did what and why, using first or second hand information or sworn affidavits. Do not attribute living people's names to sins listed in the Bible unless they have confessed it, or Matthew 18 has been completed, or a judge has decided.

As we all strive to raise the level of discourse, this is my humble suggestion, and it is open to improvement.

Anonymous said...

FinanceGuy said...
Pastor,

I wonder if you are a part of the leadership and wish to plant that seed of doubt in everyone's mind. If so, you should be rebuked in the name of Jesus, preferably by the same person who rebuked the current Chairman of the deacons and the Saddlemaker.

Edmund Burke said it best: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

I have a feeling that you have hit on just who Pastor really is and Pastor seems to be especially sensitive to comments made about Steve Tucker although Pastor makes comments on just about every subject and has become the center of attention these days.

I also noticed that he is super sensitive to blessmewiththetruth`s posts even though many have backed up everything that was said in those posts and from what I am reading there is a kill the messenger mentality, so something that was said really must have hit close to home for Pastor.

I get the feeling Pastor would really like to see those posts removed and this is why Pastor is saying they have damaged the credibility of the blog when Pastor has never thought this blog was credible in the first place.

Pastot just doesn`t seem to like the information that is coming out about Bellevue but I`m afraid that as long as he/she keeps interacting with this blog, they will be exposed to the sin camp we are uncovering at our church.

I have gone back and read over the blog and I can`t believe that anyone could look at this without realizing that our pastor and leadership are the ones to blame for every single thing that has happened, including the development of this blog.

Let`s face it, the pastor and some of the Bellevue staff have become a stumbling block to our entire church body.

When people come here and their posts find more fault in us than with those at Bellevue who are protecting the sin camp, you can`t help but wonder if it is because they are part of the Bellevue staff or just birds of a feather who like to fly together.

I have never seen anything like this in all my life.

Anonymous said...

churchmouse, i choose

_x_ standing for TRUTH

choice_is_yours said...

A note.

Mrs. Choice and I once wrote a description of a situation we had both been through. We changed the names.

Then we used the resulting story, as Jesus did, in parable fashion, to illustrate the sins.

We did not connect the sins in the story to the people whose names we knew.

The Bible tells us to trust the Holy Spirit to know the situation far better than we do/did/will know.

Our intent was to describe the sins, not to attach names to the story. The names were irrelevant to the truth of the story.

Of course we could have sat down and written a narrative using real names. But then we could not talk about our belief that sins had occurred. And if we just gave the narrative, nobody would care because they would immediately take the sides of the people they already liked.


I don't think anyone here will truly find pleaseure in seeing something bad happen to any one on either side of this situation. (At least, I hope that is not anyone's motive, and I would hope you would repent if so).

I think everyone here does want to say, "What can be learned from this? How can we better serve Christ? How do we put past hurts to rest and trust and move forward? How do we remove sin without removing sinners?"


Remember, if BBC passes a new by-law that says, "No sinners allowed," it is going to be an emplty place.

I do not say excuse sin. I say seek it out. Hate it. Remove it. End it.

Just do this "spiritual surgery" gently so that the "patient lives through the surgery."

With friendship,
Choice

Finance Guy said...

Custos,
You should come. It's easy to hide among all the "strangers" that will be there. The goons won't be able to do more than glare at you, and how is that any worse than what you've already experienced? If so, let me know. I'd like to meet you. I'll be there almost every night.

Finance Guy said...

Karen,
Are you the same Karen that's in the choir and is married to the bus driver?

2006Huldah said...

To 25+yrs@bbc:

Amen! Let' just pray and pray and pray some more until all heaven rains down on all of us, Bellevue Church, Steve Gaines--EVERYONE--and then some.

Love you ALL!

Dee

Karen said...

beyereconciled - very insighful and to the point post. I really had to search myself and make sure I'm doing what I'm doing for the right reasons, so thank you. I've deleted the ones that don't apply to me, i.e., I don't have kids.


3 informing myself on our church's issues at hand

7 maintaining my standing and reputation with church associates, teachers, and lay leadership.

6 supporting our pastor

8 protecting my ability to participate in church activities and classes

2 worshipping with my family in a church that is true to God's word

4 assuring that my tithes and offerings are used in His service

5 protecting my personal relationships at church by not offending my friends and extended family

1 standing for TRUTH

Karen said...

custos,

I'm going to the SCT on the 13th. Wanna hunker down and dodge bullets together? My hubby wants to meet you and my dad would love to see you! You know where we sit!

Karen

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karen said...

FinanceGuy said...
Karen,
Are you the same Karen that's in the choir and is married to the bus driver?

1:57 PM, December 08, 2006

Nope

LibertyInChrist said...

One of the most brilliant commentaries I have ever read which describes what Steve Gaines and the leaders at Bellevue Baptist and Rick Warren are doing to a "T" is described in an article by Philip Rosenthal, January 27, 2006 entitled:

"How Abusive Ministries Defend Themselves"

It may be accessed at:

http://voiceofreform.blogspot.com/2006/01/how-abusive-ministries-defend.html

Karen said...

CHURCHMOUSE! I saw beyereconciled's post back to you and forgot YOU wrote that wonderful post - I'm so sorry! :)

Karen said...

financeguy,

Email me and tell you who you are and I'll tell you who I am! :)

Karen

Finance Guy said...

swtt,
save your prayers, or rechannel them. Pastor is undoubtably one of the 30 Ministers on staff at BBC, or one of the 190 or so deacons.

Finance Guy said...

Karen,
I guess that explains why that "Karen" looked at me like I was nuts when I said something to her about the blog.
Don't I feel stupid!

Anonymous said...

Does this sound familiar?

http://voiceofreform.blogspot.com/2006/01/how-abusive-ministries-defend.html

Karen said...

financeguy,

I'll have to teach to the "secret handshake" - if I get a couple more "converts" I earn my "secret decoder ring"!

Karen's tongue planted firmly in cheek!

Finance Guy said...

Pastor,
What I mean by blatant sin is simply, when the sin is found out, the majority of the congregation gasps.

So the congregation votes on what is blatent immorality? Does this means you belive in "subjective morals", that are goverend by the emotions of the culture, or do you belive that immorality is defined in the Bible and is timeless? Don't you mean when any Bible-beliving, Spirit-filled Christian "gasps"? What if that is a minority of the Congregation? Belive it or not, Ted Haggert still has a number of defenders in his congregation. Many of whom have attacked the person that outted him, with death threats even, as well as the church elders that asked him to resign.
What if it is only one member of the Congregation? Remember the conversation between Abraham and the Angel of the Lord before Sodem was destroyed.

headoutofthesand said...

financeguy,

Amen!

I am seriously tired of people using the word "majority" in discussing how this should all be handled. That word should be completely irrelevant.

There is no vote on what sin is. There is only the Biblical mandate to abhor sin and that which is evil.

I don't care if 99% of the congregation supports SG or not, if 99% of the people are wrong, they are wrong.

Custos said...

Hi Financeguy and Karen,

I'm just kidding. If I were in town I'd be there, but I won't be back until just after the tree closes. Sad b/c I haven't missed a tree in a good seven or eight years.

Financeguy, the feeling's mutual: it'd be good to meet. NASS has my email and you're welcome to get it from her if you're interested in making contact.

Best,
Josh

I love my church said...

westtnbarrister said...
Who and what crucified Jesus?

• Self-righteous religious leaders
• Hard-hearted hypocrites
• Cowardly compromise
• Thoughtless conformity
• Hard-hearted cruelty
• Casual indifference ("and sitting down they watched Him there" Matt. 27:36)
• Cynical skepticism

Adrian Rogers: circa 1993

1:31 PM, December 08, 2006



Now why does that sound so familiar to me?

Good post WTB. What are those points from?

Karen said...

Custos said...
Hi Financeguy and Karen,

I'm just kidding. If I were in town I'd be there, but I won't be back until just after the tree closes. Sad b/c I haven't missed a tree in a good seven or eight years.

Financeguy, the feeling's mutual: it'd be good to meet. NASS has my email and you're welcome to get it from her if you're interested in making contact.

Best,
Josh

2:58 PM, December 08, 2006


You turkey - I got all excited! :(

david S said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Custos said...

*gobble*

Finance Guy said...

Just a random thought. If i've heard Harry Smith, Chuck Taylor or Steve Gaines say it once, they've said it a dozen times. The fact that attendence and giving is up is a sign that God is in whatever the Pastor is doing at BBC. While the truth of that statement has already been debated, the one thing I'd like to say is you live by numbers, you die by numbers. Is the reverse true if attendance is down? Attendance in the morning worship center was down possibly as much as 1,000-1,500 over the fall semester from "normal". That fact was actually in "Bellevue today" a couple weeks ago, but it was cleverly spun as evidence that Sunday School attendance was "up". You had to discern through the spin and know that Worship attendance has been in the 8K-9K range for the past couple years to figure out the truth.
If there are any deacons or anyone else in the "know" on attendance figures, your comments are appreciated.
By the way, if the Pastor has been making subtle threats to staff and deacons that we are checking up on your tithing, I would expect tithing to be up.
As upset as I am over all this, I've not let it affect my tithing....yet.

choice_is_yours said...

To: "I love my church"

Sir,

Can I email you?

I may not check this again tonite. I actually may have to look for you next week if I'm not around much over the weekend.

I just wanted you to know that I appreciate some things you've said. In fact, you are causing me to change my mind about some things.

Would you let me know how to get in touch with you?

Sincerely,
Choice

Finance Guy said...

David said:
6. If Pastor made ammends with Jim W., why was there no public support from Jim? That seems very strange to me, since he is known to be a peace maker. His silence is deafening, unbless he has said something I'm unaware of. However, from Josh W. comments, I don't get the feeling reconcilation happened. But pastor said FROM THE PULPIT that this happened at Rogers funeral.

Pastor,
This was another deception/lie from the pulpit that has gone unconfessed. Or Jim W is lying. But I've know Dr. J for years, and would find it hard to believe that he's not being truthful.
Whatever.

Custos said...

Good points FG. Also, if we want to go with numbers as a validation, lets move our memberships from Bellevue to Benny Hinn's church. He seems to turn out grand crowds. Or what about Joel Olsteen? God's gotta be seriously happy with those guys.

Also, we should probably pull the plug on those missionaries whose work God obviously isn't honoring since they often have terrible difficulties growing their churches.

I'm just tossing it out there.

Tim said...

financeguy,

It is my understanding that the deacons have a monthly meeting a that they pass out statistical information concerning attendance and past performance at the meetings. I have noticed as well that they have become deathly silent on that item.

The problems at Bellevue haven't affected my tithe either, just redirected it to other ministries. I have done so with a conscience that is clean and the Lord can deal with me on that.

Just as a side note on the tithing issue to the die hard, right or wrong, Gaines supporters. If you can support the $25k that went to FUMC and say that God can use it as he chooses, then you can support by tithe going to other ministries. The two are vastly different in my opinion, but the point is that you can take your argument somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother used to say to me, " wrong is still wrong if everybody is doing it and right is still right if no one is doing it"
Seems some of these men ( chuck taylor, steve tucker, steve gaines, harry smith) shoulda had a lecture from my grandma.

Anonymous said...

Philip Rosenthal wrote this article that describes what we are experiencing in Steve Gaines and the elite men he surrounds himself with.
If you haven't read this article, it's on the main page of savingbellevue.com Here's an excerpt from it.


Elitism in many ministries creates a spiritual blindness. Anyone below the level in the hierarchy is simply ignored or at best treated like a child. Their concerns are treated as personal worries rather than real problems with the ministry.

Such ministries develop a culture where leaders are obligated to defend each other rather than investigate the truth.

In most ministries, leaders use the senior leader as an ethical guideline, thus no one questions his behaviour. If invited to such an abusive interrogation, they just assume the procedure is acceptable and that the objector is a troublemaker needing to be 'sorted out'.

There is no moral feedback to the abusive leader, and he becomes more and more like a problem child who never matures due to lack of discipline.

allofgrace said...

swtt,
Sounds like it fits to a "T"

I love my church said...

"Good points FG. Also, if we want to go with numbers as a validation, lets move our memberships from Bellevue to Benny Hinn's church. He seems to turn out grand crowds. Or what about Joel Olsteen? God's gotta be seriously happy with those guys."


Custos, are you also WTB? You must be because a month ago he made made the same references to Benny Hinn and Joel Osteen in the context of a post on using numbers as validation. I remember because that post was the best, bar none, I have seen on this forum. Cogent and powerful. I was encouraged because I realized serious people with serious concerns were posting here.

Thank you for a great post (both times).

I love my church said...

Choice_is_yours,

ioncewasblind@yahoo.com

allofgrace said...

i love my church,
WTB and custos are two different people.

allofgrace said...

They say great minds think alike though.

Anonymous said...

Financeguy,

I got your point on the pastor. I was trying to reel him in close enough to throw a net on him.

This pastor believes that

It's ok to trespass.

The ends justifies the means. Let's say my pastor was shoplifting but it was for a good cause. It wouldn't be so bad then.

We've got problems with our pastor for sure now since the numbers are down 20% in attendance from 1 year ago when Steve Gaines arrived.

Blatant immorality - Bad
Small immorality - acceptable

$100-125,000 package - Good
$400,000+ Gaines package - Bad

$25,000 donation to abortion/homosexual accepting/leading church ok because it's chump change compared to the $25,000,000.

By the way, the 25million is actually $30,000,000. If anyone says anything different, we need to investigate where the money went.

Thanks financeguy for having my back but I didn't just fall off the cabbage truck yesterday.

I love my church said...

Allofgrace,

Are you sure? Custos is known as an intellectual young man. Few are capable of writing at his level. How many would make the exact point with the same references. I remember after WTB posted it people were guessing who he was. I printed it and saved it in my files. I thought he might be Custos at the time.

I will try to link to the post so you can read it for yourself. I have realized I may have wrongly "outed" Custos and that was not my intent and I am sorry. I wanted to thank him for elevating the dialog.

headoutofthesand said...

Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Act 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

allofgrace said...

i love my church,
just passing along info...i've met WTB..and I know custos' identity so yes, they're both articulate and intelligent, but not the same person. I agree they both elevate the forum.

I love my church said...

Allofgrace,

Thank you for the information. Time and circumstance prevent me from following the forum daily or I might have made the determination on my own. Needless to say, I am impressed with both men.

I'm no Sherlock Holmes am I?

Allofgrace is a nice pseudonym. Reformed?

allofgrace said...

I love my church,
allofgrace i took from CH Spurgeon's book by the same name...reformed yes...on the order of the CH.

Custos said...

Hi ILoveMyChurch,

Your thought about myself and WTB being the same person is very flattering to me (and probably a grave injustice to WTB!), but I can't lay claim to his/her identity. Thank you and AllForGrace for all your generosity. To God be the glory for the any of the truth behind what you said.

Just for clarity's sake, I only post as Custos, and while I don't know WTB's identity, I'm Josh Manning. A decent number of folks know that so there was no need to worry about outing me. =)

You know, this is such a strange medium. I often wonder how many of the people on here I've passed in the halls of Bellevue every Sunday for years. It'll be amsuing to find out one day who we all are.

Again, many thanks to you both.

Best wishes,
Josh

Anonymous said...

I have been reading about the situation you as a church are experiencing. As a former member of GFBC I wanted to let you all know that I am in prayer for your church that the church will let God handle the whole situation. I say that I am a former member of GFBC because after being a Christian (of the Southern Baptist belief) I became very disillusioned by the business of the church while under the former leadership. I have been listening to the new pastor and I believe that GFBC is on the fringes of having a true revival. GFBC is going through a tremendous healing because God is the leader now. I was raised that the business of the church was God and his will for our lives not to be ran like a corporate business. I know of many times growing up sitting at our pastor's kitchen table praying for the church and the Lord's guidance to win the lost. I remember how hard the decision to start locking the church up at night was to our deacon board. Our church was always open to any one in need, a warm place to sleep, a quiet place to worship alone or an altar to go to in the middle of the night. It saddens me to read about the trials and tribulations that you all are experiencing but I know that like the old song states "What a Friend we have in Jesus" that when we take it to the Lord in prayer we will find a solace there. My prayers are with your church.

Anonymous said...

Before James Dobson knew the whole truth about Pastor Haggard he actually thought Haggard was gracious in his stepping down from the pulpit but in actuallly it was not an act of grace but an act of guilt. Haggard knew what he had done, James Dobson did not.

Other well known evangelicals offered similar opinions and even defended Haggard but in the end it would take the world reporting the truth to bring him out of the pulpit.

Be careful what and who you defend!

Read this please.

This is exactly what is happening right before our eyes!

Reaction Among Evangelicals

Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family -- who with Haggard has maintained a high profile in Colorado in rallying support for Amendment 43 -- is commending the pastor for stepping down from his position at New Life. Haggard, he says, "has shown a great deal of grace under these circumstances, quickly turning this matter over to his church for an independent investigation." Dobson calls that "a testament to the character" he has witnessed several times in Haggard's life.

But Dobson criticizes the news media for reporting something that is "based on nothing but one man's allegation." The ministry leader also suggests that the timing of the story is intended to influence the upcoming vote on the state's marriage amendment.

Rev. Richard Cizik is vice president of National Association of Evangelicals. He tells Associated Press that he finds it hard to believe the allegations against Haggard. "The accusations do not comport with the man that I know, the Ted Haggard that I know," says Cizik.

The NAE official says people should not rush to judgment. "I think before anybody crucifies the man, we better get all the facts," he says. "Let's pray for both Ted Haggard and his family -- and the man making the accusation. God alone is judge, and I believe that He has the power to heal and restore and actually, in fact, bring good out of this." Like Dobson, Cizik notes that the accusations come during the closing days of an election -- one that involves an amendment protecting traditional marriage.

The president of the National Clergy Council in Washington, DC, points out that the Bible says no man is to be condemned on the testimony of a single accuser. That is why, says Rev. Rob Schenck, "we must prayerfully wait out the investigative process [in the Haggard matter] and continue to judge by the evidence." But should the allegations prove true, he adds, it will just be affirmation of man's sinful nature.

"The Bible says if we say we have no sin, we lie and the truth is not in us," says Schenck in a press release. "Evangelical Christianity does not rest on frail and sinful human beings," he states, "but on a just and righteous God who changes not."

Connecticut evangelist Stephen Bennett says if the allegations made against Haggard are true, he is "completely disgusted and dismayed." Bennett, a former homosexual who now pastors a small church, is visibly upset at the development.

"After being in major Christian circles for many years, the hypocrisy that I have found and personally seen in mainstream Christianity is unfortunate and heartbreaking," says the founder and executive director of Stephen Bennett Ministries. He says he is convinced the turmoil surrounding Haggard will affect next week's elections.

allofgrace said...

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

Just felt like sharing that.

allofgrace said...

"and" the LORD should be "am"

StumblingServant said...

Posted on the Gardendale Blog today:

"One of you said "The reason he is having trouble there now is because he is preaching straight from the Word and that bothers a lot of people."
You must not know anything about Bellevue and you know little about Steve Gaines. Bellevue Baptist Church had the most outstanding preacher I have ever heard--Dr. Adrian Rogers. I have listened to him on the radio and watched him on television for years. Those people in Memphis heard the Word preached like no other congregation in America for 30 years. It was either Billy Graham or Dr. Dobson who called Adrian Rogers the best preacher since the Apostle Paul, high praise from either of those men.

Steve Gaines' problems have nothing to do with preaching the Word, people at Bellevue expect nothing less. Steve Gaines problem is Steve Gaines.

Some people only knew Steve based on his sermons. I am a deacon at GFBC and I knew the real Steve Gaines. I have read what is going on in Memphis. All I can say is God help them and I am not surprised. Many at GFBC know the truth about Steve and they are no more surprised than I am. Anyone remember what he did to our minister of music?

Steve believes in checking tithes. I want to clear that up for you. Nevermind giving is between the giver and God. To Steve it's between the giver, God, and Gaines.

I've talked to a cousin at Belleuve and it looks like Steve caught a tiger by the tail this time. He said they've got some godly men who won't back down and knuckle under. They know their Bibles too. He may not make it."

Churchmouse said...

A year ago we were asking each other, "Why did God take Dr. Rogers home so soon?" I don't hear anyone asking that now.

allofgrace said...

churchmouse,
Good point. Maybe God was sparing him seeing this happen.

allofgrace said...

stumblingservant,
Can you give me the url for that blog? Thanks

StumblingServant said...

http://www.al.com/forums/gardendale/index.ssf

Anonymous said...

Thought this was an interesting comment on the blog in Gardendale.

2101. GFBC pastor....NOW
by spud1, 12/8/06 15:59 ET
is one of the most relational type people I have ever met. He has a heart for this community. In fact, he was quite taken aback when he found out the reputation our church has in this community and he, with God, is making a stab at making a change. Please all of you that are bashing, put the previous leadership behind us and let's move on... have a heart for of JOY---Jesus, Others, You. We as a church are reaching out.....give it a chance and I think you will see some differences. Better still come and experience it with us. Services 8/930/11, or if you can't or won't come, tune in on ABC33/40 8 am and see/hear for yourself that Pastor Kevin IS different. He loves the Lord and he loves people. He is not prejudiced and he is certainly not puffed up. You are welcome, come one, come all.

allofgrace said...

swtt,
I just read that too...I found it interesting as well.

Anonymous said...

Be strong!

We are not here to play, to dream, to drift; We have hard work to do, and loads to lift; Shun not the struggle - face it; 'tis God's gift.

Be Strong!

Say not, "The days are evil. "Who's to blame?" And fold the hands and aquiesce -- oh shame! Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in God's name.

Be Strong!

It matters not how deep intrenched the wrong, How hard the battle goes, the day how long; Faint not - fight on! To-morrow comes the song.

Babcock

New BBC Open Forum said...

stumblingservant wrote:

"Posted on the Gardendale Blog today:

"One of you said 'The reason he is having trouble there now is because he is preaching straight from the Word and that bothers a lot of people.'
You must not know anything about Bellevue and you know little about Steve Gaines."


Look at one of the responses:

"To two Ministers of Music, a youth minister; and anybody else that he thought might have a following. His term for himself was, 'benevolent dictator'. How are you both...you cannot dictate and be benevolent. I tell you our staff, NOW, are like birds out of a cage. One of them was asked one Wednesday night 'have you talked with Steve?' His response, 'not in about 5 yrs.'"

NASS just experienced one of Karen's water-spitting moments.

StumblingServant said...

Anybody think we might be able to work out a swap, Pastor Steve for Pastor Kevin?

After all we have $30,000,000 for boot. Maybe offer to pay off their new buildings?

Tim said...

How on earth did our search committee find this guy any way with a ouija board?

Anonymous said...

I know I am repeating myself, but I hope the person who started this www.savingbellevue.com website will answer this question. Why do you not contact www.hispeace.org go to the link at the top of the website that is getting help with a conflict. I have heard of churches that split on the news (Klove) but they never said that they contacted Peacemaker ministries and they were beyond their help. when you all are angry you might say things you wish you had not even though you are right. in the future you might still be sorry that you did not handle it diffrent. It is possible to be the right ( the innocent, and be the one who is telling the truth) and still be sorry about your attituide. Weep before the L-RD with all your heart. wait on him. waiting is hard sometimes especially when you are hurting and this fighting is causing alot of hurting people. Remember love mercy and to forgive. and get rid of anger it does you no good it is sin. When you try to tell a layman why are you doing this?
This is nowhere near to the L-RD's way. and they do not listen because they think their right, because of they are to filled with pride even though you tell them look into the Bible what are you doing to me. they will never listen to you it is useless, trust me. they do not care at all. If they do not hear the word of the L-RD when you show them it in the bible they never will listen to the words of your mouth or anything else. Just wait on the L-RD. just leave there. and wait on the L-RD. It is the L-RD's house of prayer, but they
Contact peacemaker ministries for help or just leave. and Weep, and weep, before the L-RD. and wait on him. and get rid of anger, it is sin and it does nothing for you. I am praying for you all. I love you all with a holy love.
but I am not a member of your church.

ezekiel said...

Anger is not always sin.....

For all those that question the motives of the people on this blog and the harsh tones you hear from some of them, I suggest a read of Numbers 25:10

25:10 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

25:11 Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.

25:12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace:

25:13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, [even] the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.


Phinehas had just speared an Israelite who was immorally involved with a woman who represented a people that worshipped Baal.

Zeal and anger are not wrong when the target is sin.

9:37 AM, December 08, 2006

Anonymous said...

noemailaddress,
I hate to tell you this but you are preaching to the choir over here. Have you taken your suggestion to Steve Gaines, Harry Smith, John Caldwell, Jeff Arnold, and Steve Tucker, and Bryan Miller? These are the men who run Bellevue. Nothing is going to happen unless you convince the elite. Your suggestion is not a bad one,it's just directed at the wrong target.

MOM4 said...

NBOF said...
"NASS just experienced one of Karen's water-spitting moments."

And so did MOM4!!! I feel like I am looking at my screen thru a fishbowl!

ezekiel said...

Is it just me .......

We have reputable assessments of the non-regenerate members of the church being around 75-85%.

Then we have pastors basing their strength on the 75-85% support of the congregation.

Does this mean the true test of a pastor is support from the non-regenerate members?

Is it really all that hard to imagine a church controlled by man rather than Jesus?

Is it really that hard to see how we get to the church in Rev 17?

Like the Missionary said the other day, maybe it is time to stop going to the church and start being the church..... Looks like we have invited the world into our sanctuary and given them the power to vote.

Tim said...

ezekiel,

It is the unfortunate result of being "seeker friendly" and easy believism.

ezekiel said...

The path is narrow and few appear to be on it.

MOM4 said...

BMWTT said....

"Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family -- who with Haggard has maintained a high profile in Colorado in rallying support for Amendment 43 -- is commending the pastor for stepping down from his position at New Life. Haggard, he says, "has shown a great deal of grace under these circumstances, quickly turning this matter over to his church for an independent investigation." Dobson calls that "a testament to the character" he has witnessed several times in Haggard's life." (NOTE: This was prior to Haggard's confession)

As we can see, even devout Christians can be deceived by men of questionable character. If James Dobson was duped by Haggard, do you not think it was possible that Steve Gaines duped Adrian Rogers? (No implication re: the Haggard situation and the situation with Gaines intended-the situations are different, but character flaws are similar)

Karen said...

i love my church,

Custos and WTB are different people - I know them both and they are 2 separate, but lovely people.

Karen

Tim said...

ezekiel,

I am assuming that you are a Bellevue member. Have you encountered an unbelievable amount of apathy from other members?

Anonymous said...

ONCE AGAIN, FLESH ON PARADE!

Karen said...

Churchmouse said...
A year ago we were asking each other, "Why did God take Dr. Rogers home so soon?" I don't hear anyone asking that now.

7:38 PM, December 08, 2006

Churchmouse,

My mom and I had a conversation about this and it's a sobering thought, isn't it? I would be so heartbroken if Dr. Rogers knew what was going on - but he knows anyway, huh?

Karen

david S said...

Tim and Ezekiel,

Where are you getting the number 75-85% of church MEMBERSHIP is unregenerate?

Tim, you said this was a result of being “seeker sensitive.” Actually, seeker sensitive desires to reach out to the lost so that more in the “crowd” of a church are lost. But the membership is to be totally sold out to Jesus.

Does that make sense?
–We want the church to be full of lost people at morning worship, so they might hear the preaching of the Gospel.
–We want the membership to be nothing but Believers committed to helping unbelievers (lost) find Jesus and disciple them.

ezekiel said...

Correct. I am not sure I can call it apathy. Just a lot of the brainwashed "don't question authority" stuff. Just keep a smile on your face and ignore the 800 lb gorilla in the closet.

Anonymous said...

ezekiel,

It is the unfortunate result of being "seeker friendly" and easy believism.


Some warn of the longevity of emotional conversions. The parable of the seed seems to substantiate this thought. I think the key lies less in the skill of persuasion and more in real relationship. So, I think seeker friendly is good - just under different conditions.

Karen said...

AWWWW, NASS and Mom4 missed me! :)

Karen (turning cartwheels with happiness)

2006Huldah said...

To "stumblingservant" and "swtt":

Thank you for keeping us informed about the reports of Gardendale members who have LIVED it--church life under Steve Gaines.

To "Telos":

Thank you for this poetic reminder of the strength this battle might require. So true.

To "Blessmewiththetruth":

Thank you for your stand. Had you lived in King David's time, you would have been one of his mighty men. Ah, yes.

Fellow believers, you are so beautiful, so perfect in every way because of the blood of The Lamb. I praise Him for all of this hardship and bless His Holy, Holy, Holy Name. He has Himself placed us here for such a time as this. Stand strong and fear not. Remember how you first were called out from normal worship at Bellevue--the Spirit pulling on you and in you. We blamed ourselves thinking we were perhaps grieving over the loss of our precious, precious pastor, Adrian Rogers. Then, we heard of "the fence", "the dream" and its absurdity for a precious brother who "amenned" too much. The list mounted. The unbelievable, evidenced truths continued to come out from so many directions.

However, as "stumblingservant" repeated the statement of the deacon from Gardendale First Baptist Church (former church of Dr. Gaines prior to coming to BBC), "It looks like Steve caught a tiger by the tail this time." I do not gloat over this last statement. I sincerely wish it were not so. I wish that Steve Gaines was everything we thought he was going to be and that all of this trouble never happened.

How hard did we at Bellevue pray for the Search Committee to find the new pastor? I am hoping the number of brothers and sisters my husband and I saw at the 5:00 PM, Sunday prayer meeting, which was dedicated solely to praying for the Search Committee, was not a true indicator of how many concerned (or unconcerned) members there were. There were only SIX members who came to pray that first Sunday. I prayed for His forgiveness that Sunday for our church after seeing how small a number came. Paul Williams was the pastor leading this prayer meeting. I won't venture any further lest I be guilty of judging something I have no way of knowing. However, let all who read this know that as for this one person, I have done much soul-searching and asking the Lord to search me and reveal in my heart any wrong or evil thing. It is He who has brought this remembrance back to me when I had completely forgotten the feeling of shock and surprise my husband and I had had on that first Sunday. Yes, I guess I am saying, "Have we gotten what we deserved?", and I honestly don't mean that as an insult to Dr. Gaines but rather more as a scolding to us as a whole.

This is so deep. It makes me weak to think of the gravity of this situation. Let me say once again, thank you to those of you who have taken up your crosses as the Lord has chosen you to suffer the humiliation, the anger, the hurt, the shock, the grief, the pain, the loss for the cause of Christ and the sake of others though they may not even be aware of the wrong or either live in denial being unwilling to suffer the shame for His name's sake. Hallelujah!

You are SO LOVED by Him if you are in this group. Glory to God only and praising YOU, Lord Jesus.

Truly amazed by His grace,

Dee

MOM4 said...

Re: the 800 lb gorilla -
At one point during the Adrian Rogers conservative restoration of the SBC, he and another group of pastors actually shouted another pastor off the stage because of the pastors statements that did not hold true with scripture. This was told to me by a man whose pastor at the time was the purveyor of mistruth, a minister from the Raleigh, North Carolina area.
Seems to me that sometimes we need to haul that gorilla out of the closet.

Tim said...

david,

I have seen these numbers on the blog before. I didn't base my comment on the validity of the numbers. The combination of seeker friendly (sensitive) and easy belivism create a church that is really not much more than a glorified country club. The apathy that is seen within the church causes me to wonder about the accuracy of the numbers. I personally find it hard to believe that they would be that high, but would rather think that there is a high percentage that are worldly.

MOM4 said...

Karen,

and I am clapping with glee.... :)
Welcome back dear one!

ezekiel said...

Telos......

I have come to look at it as being only about the relationship. The emotional start soon withers if not backed up with a daily meal of "the bread and the wine"....

Anybody tells me they are saved but they don't read the word....

2006Huldah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Finance Guy said...

Another Random Thought:
My grandfather used to say "Your actions are speaking so loud, I can't hear a word you are saying". That came to mind each of the times the Pastor or Harry "Coverup" Smith has spoken from the pulpit over the past couple months.

Karen said...

Dee said:

"Have we gotten what we deserved?", and I honestly don't mean that as an insult to Dr. Gaines but rather more as a scolding to us as a whole.

WOW! I have never discussed that with anyone except my mom and it's amazing that others are now bringing up things I have been thinking about for months. You know the phrase: Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it? Scary to think that the lack of prayer by us - people of BBC as a whole - got us exactly what we deserved. Refiner's fire hurts like the dickens, don't it?

mom4, thanks! (I wish I knew who you were in "real life"!)

Karen

david S said...

Tim, I agree. But only when those two are COMBINED. (Seeker Friendly + easy belivism = spiritual disaster).

When there is no plan to disciple those who are won then the entire house will fall down.

But being friendly to the lost alone isn’t dangerous, it’ when the Gospel is not fully presented. When we never mention “sin” or “the cross.” (Truthfully, it’s more what I hear from Osteen than Warren).

And Dr. Gaines... I don’t know. Does his preaching inspire discipleship? Is there a plan in place to disciple those who are lost?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where Eric Brand stands in all of this. I've not seen him at any of the Communicaiton Committee meetings. His name has not been associated with any of the Bellevue Public Relations Buffer Committees that have been set up. His silence is actually quite loud. Eric, if you happen to read this, I am praying for you and praying for men and women who we have not heard from to stand up and do the right thing. You will find out soon that there are more people by the day who are seeing the light.

Finance Guy said...

2006huldah
I must confess I spent little time in prayer for the Search Committee, but paid a lot of lip service to praying. I wonder if this was the rule rather than the exception among Bellevue members?

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