Friday, January 12, 2007

Deny Some More...

Please continue your discussion from the previous thread here.

An interim report from Bellevue's "personnel committee" is now available here.

And stay tuned...

584 comments:

1 – 200 of 584   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Here are a few important changes that would help during these days of crisis in leadership:

I. Pastoral Accountability to the Congregation:
1. 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!!
2. The giving records of the membership and the ministers on staff at Bellevue should never be for pastoral review in any shape, form, or fashion.
3. No church credit cards.
4. An admission Dr. Gaines should have never given $25k to FUMC and an explanation of policy changes to prevent a repeat.
5. 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.
6. Full disclosure of ministerial compensation: salary + benefit breakdown, etc.
7. Removal from office of ministers guilty of sexual immorality with immediate coordination with the appropriate authorities if any laws have been broken by a minister (no matter how long ago), including thorough investigation of the matter when the minister’s conduct may have affected other church members or their children.

II. Congregational Church governance:
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.

1. Those who are part of this lay-elder "power block" need to step down from positions of influence for a long time. Bellevue needs “new blood” in these key positions.
2. There needs to be 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 not be allowed to serve on committees that review bids for their services.
3. Congregational nomination of and election of all of the Board of Directors as called for in the 1929 bylaws.
4. A quarterly business meeting with open mike Q&A with each committee chairman. **The current bylaws mention "monthly" business meetings! When were they changed??
5. A good updated set of bylaws similar to GBC.
6. A transparent committee selection process.
7. Much greater congregational oversight of the current budget with a transparent policy for consideration of non-budgeted expenditures exceeding a reasonable amount.
8. 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].
9. Bellevue needs to reject Warrenism fully and finally.
10. Higher standards should be put in place for the hiring of "ministers." Seminary training should be considered a normal prerequisite.

III. Treatment of ministers on staff at BBC and members:
1. A whistle blower policy for ministers, staff, and members.
2. 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! 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. The congregation needs to know how their leadership has treated and is treating ministers who leave the service of our Lord through BBC.
3. 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.

We are to be “providing things honestly in the sight of all men” (Rom. 12:17). 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...

swtt said- The amount of money Bellevue spent on restaurants last year is incredible and abusive.


REPLY- Care to be more specific and give some facts? What restaurants, how much etc? I sure hope you are talking more than the times Dr. Gaines took someone or a group out to eat.

a_nonamus said...

Why keep posting new threads when there is nothing new to discuss or comment on? It only feeds the fire of those wanting to argue about SG and "beat a dead horse." The web site has done well in getting issues out there. It has served its purpose, and until something new comes out, there is no reason to continue new threads. Obviously SG and 4545 are aware of the concerns. Obviously, they differ as to the nature of the issues being discussed. So what? Neither side is going to change their mind based on info on this blog. I hope the activity here is reduced accordingly. I will continue to check in to see if anything new is out there. I also will continue reading what 4545 has to say since she seems to have a closer personal stake in it all. Blessings to all! :)

Anonymous said...

More of your lists full of self and flesh. Why don't you try a blank sheet of paper and allow God to put on it His list. You and others make it all about you and what you think and your "ideas".

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Anonymous said...

25+yrs- Do you really think all the things on YOUR list are going to be done at Bellevue? And that they should be?

Anonymous said...

4545, I have asked for the numbers as well regarding the restaraunt budget. I was told I could contact the Finance depart or MD or DC if I wanted to know.

Anonymous said...

swtt said:

"Memphis,
Sorry I don't have a copy I can give you. I would suggest going by Mark Dougharty or David Coomb's office. They can tell you where to pick up the information. If that doesn't work out, contact anyone on the Finance Committee. They can help you."

Response:
I don't think he wants a physical hard copy, he just wants to know some details as do I. It would be very easy for you to look at your copy and simply post the numbers for all to see. As far as I know, the annual report you refer to does not have a breakdown of restaurants or amounts spent by each staff member. I would just like to know where you got your information of "incredible amounts" and what those amounts are. Then we would be able to determine for ourselves if we deem them excessive.

a_nonamus said...

4545 - just curious. Since God no longer writes on tablets of stone or paper, are there ANY items on the list that you and SG would consider as being from God? What about pastoral accountability in general? I would think #'s 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 would be reasonable.

What about church governance? Any opposition to that? Specifically #'s 5,6,7,8 and 10 under that heading seem like they could be in God's will for HIS church.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to how exactly "God's list" would differ from 25+yrs' list. His list seems to be one that a person/church of integrity would not have a problem with.

And mo-scratch, from what I have seen, this blog *is* changing some people's minds. At the very least, it is causing people to *think* (hopefully) and not blindly follow any man.

And as 25+yrs quoted, which I think bears repeating:

"he who would be great among you shall be the servant of all."

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that the blog has been accused of just a handful of disgruntled sheep.

Some interesting statistics are emerging that make me believe that Steve Gaines and his close inner circle are starting to get the message.

For the first time in anyone's memory at Bellevue, Bible Fellowship attendance on Sunday morning has outnumbered the number of sanctuary worship attenders. A lot of us are attending Bible Fellowship and not the worship service because it's hard to listen to Steve Gaines give self serving sermons and listen to someone that doesn't practice what he preaches.

The numbers are very telling.

Worship Service attendance is down as much as 25% in some services from a year ago.

With 1500 new members in the past year and averaging 9000 in worship a year ago, that would make the average attendance now of 6500 (both services combined) down somewhere between 3,000-3,500 per Sunday. I'd say this is more than a handful of disgruntled sheep.

At the end of June 2006, giving was up 25% over budget. We were on target to have $30-32 million (yes that's $30,000,000 to $32,000,000) in tithes and offerings by December 31. It looks like we ended up 5% over the $25 million budget which is about $26,500,000. The last half of the year's giving started going down and for the last quarter, giving was actually below budget. Less money taken in the last quarter than what the budgeted expenses were. I don't remember that ever happening.

This is very serious to Steve Gaines and his inner circle. They are very concerned and we WILL be seeing a huge difference in their attitude starting now. $$ does count.

It's sad it came to this because a lot of good people who have served faithfully in many areas have moved their membership. A lot of Bible Fellowship teachers have resigned. A lot of others are contemplating leaving.

Steve Gaines, please do what it takes immediately to heal our church. Start with openess, honesty, and undoing a lot of the things that have been done in this past 16 months to harm our beloved Bellevue.

It's never too late to do the right thing. Repentance by all of us can start revival but it won't start unless everything is laid bare.

Anonymous said...

heardnuf4545,

This list exists. It's in the finance office. Trust me.

If Mark Dougharty, David Coombs, or Chip Freeman want to let you see it, they will. If not, I will not help you. Sorry.

Bepatient said...

Memphis? you out there?

Anonymous said...

Why say that the amount is incredible if you are not willing to back up that number?

LibertyInChrist said...

MICHAEL PRUETT'S LETTER TO BBC DEACONS.

I am sure by now that many of you have now read BBC's Deacon Michael Pruett's letter just posted on SavingBellevue.com
See: http://www.savingbellevue.com/deaconpruett.htm

So now Gaines is the victim? And not the members of Bellevue Baptist?
So now they threaten those who have exposed him?
This sounds like what is in store for you is one more kangaroo court which will be used to oust all members who have spoken out against Gaines....exactly what happened at Gardendale Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, TX and Iuka Baptist Church in Iuka, MS.
How is it slander when Gaine's admitted it was true?
Hold on to your hats!
If Bellevue members fall for this letter, then Bellevue is doomed!

"Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil!"

Anonymous said...

I know the list exists!!

swtt said- The amount of money Bellevue spent on restaurants last year is incredible and abusive.


REPLY- Care to be more specific and give some facts? What restaurants, how much etc? I sure hope you are talking more than the times Dr. Gaines took someone or a group out to eat.

Anonymous said...

The Inner Ring www.geocities.com/bigcslewisfan/

Anonymous said...

Regarding tithing - If it were not for the IRS or pride, why record who gives what? If I tithe and give offerings without an official record to prove I've given, I have still worshipped if my heart is right before God and man. If my heart is not right before God and man, then it does not matter what is recorded where by whomever, I have not tithed or worshipped, I have made a tax-deductible donation. This issue minus the IRS, pride, distrust, and arrogance equals a moot issue!

Anonymous said...

I do not speak for Dr. Gaines and have never claimed to.

Anonymous said...

swtt said:

"If Mark Dougharty, David Coombs, or Chip Freeman want to let you see it, they will. If not, I will not help you. Sorry."

Thank you for your honesty in admitting that you will not help me. I would suggest that next time if you are unwilling to give full disclosure of facts that you stated, then you would consider not posting potentially inflammatory statements.
Thanks again for being honest and drawing this part of the discussion to a close.

david S said...

4545: “25+yrs- Do you really think all the things on YOUR list are going to be done at Bellevue? And that they should be?”

The only way to stay focused is to keep refining lists. That no one responds to the list is sad since it means the position of those concerned risks remaining mired in discussion and not clear unified action. Only when there is clarity about what the concerns are can voices me raised.

Anyway, 4545, 25+ is doing exactly what all need in order to stay focused. The group should be able to agree on a unified list, and those of you who think there are no problems should be interested in what that list is.

Bepatient said...

I would like to know the amount as well please. I don't believe there is a breakdown of restaurant expenses on the finance report that is available to the congregation. Where did you get your info and why can't you share it?

Anonymous said...

heardenuf, I agree. Thank you for posting that.

Anonymous said...

swtt said:

"At the end of June 2006, giving was up 25% over budget. We were on target to have $30-32 million (yes that's $30,000,000 to $32,000,000) in tithes and offerings by December 31. It looks like we ended up 5% over the $25 million budget which is about $26,500,000. The last half of the year's giving started going down and for the last quarter, giving was actually below budget. Less money taken in the last quarter than what the budgeted expenses were. I don't remember that ever happening."

Response: I pray that those who are not bringing, as Dr. Rogers used to say, "God's tithe to God's house on God's day, that God's work/will will be done in God's way" , are putting God's money into another church and not withholding God's money to harm or intimidate Steve Gaines and Bellevue.

Anonymous said...

Just thinking out loud here; you can take it for what it's worth.

Don't some things NEED to be inflammatory?? Not unnecessarily so, but sometimes it takes someone taking us by the shoulders, shaking us and slapping us in the face (figuratively speaking) for us to WAKE UP!

MOM4 said...

davids,
Those of us that classify ourselves as Pro-Bellevue, firmly agree that the lists posted by 25+ are EXACTLY what we need to do. If a vote on this item alone were to be taken today from the pulpit of BBC, there would only be a handful of discenting votes if the vote were based on the content of the proposed actions and not on whose "side" one was on.
So, we are unified, whether the Pro-Gaines camp wants to acknowledge it or not.
Thanks for your input by the way - it is insightful to me.

Bellevue Friend said...

Friends,

It's been said that any church in America, is 24 hours away from a major conflict. You dear people at Bellevue, know the truth of that statement.

As a veteran Pastor with an nearly 20 years of experience, I would like to state my feelings as I think of Bellevue and the entire situation.

1. Dr. Rogers was well, Dr. Rogers! And we all know that anyone who follows him, has there work cut out for him....and has big shoes to fill, if you will :)

2. Speaking of shoes, when this blog begins to question the price of a Pastor's shoes, you appear to be petty and judgmental, and that’s true of restaurant choices etc!

3. In my opinion, Dr. Gaines did not, and does not have a desire to ruin Bellevue. What Pastor would want to hurt, a Church of the living God? And for those who site examples from former Churches i.e. (the complaints of disgruntled members) you need to know that no Pastor who has ever served anywhere has not had his detractors....none!

4. I do believe Dr. Gaines has made many mistakes, and feeling the pressure of a brewing Church conflict, made the biggest
( Mistake) to date in not allowing the Church to deal with the immorality of a staff member.

5. Some bloggers have said all the problems are to be laid at Dr. Gaines feet. I would submit to you that behind the “Blowing Hellish winds of Church conflict" is the enemy of our souls!

6. The people of God must emulate Jesus who on the cross did not retaliate, but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly!

7. I can only imagine the heartache the Gaines family is going through, and you too are have to go through the same intense pain, as is the son of the staff member in question.

8. I remember reading a book by Max Lacado where he writes of Grace and the salvation of serial killer Jeffery Dalmer....Grace means that all of us our vile sinners, who can be cleansed by the blood of Jesus! And as far as the east is from the west our God remembers our iniquity no more! Praise His Holy Name!

9. That said, ministers are and should be held to a higher standard.

10. Bellevue needs to be broken, needs to repent, needs to call a Solemn Assembly, and the leadership needs, a a business meeting to answer the legitimate questions that God's people have.

It's been said, "Peace is such a wonderful thing, I would trade almost anything in the world for it....except the truth".

God is in control, and I am praying for Bellevue, and for you and for Dr. Gaines, and that Bellevue would continue to be brought to her knees, for the purpose to look up, to the Author and Finisher of our Faith!

MOM4 said...

socwork said...
"Don't some things NEED to be inflammatory??"

I wonder if Jesus was considered "inflamatory" when he used a whip to chase out the merchants from the temple?

Bepatient said...

socwork-

Nothing NEEDS to be inflammatory. If they are factual they should be able to stand on their own.

And as far as 25+'s list. I see several areas where it differs from "God's list" I don't think the Bible talks about church credit cards.
I will not longer respond to any posts about this list though. All I will say is that I would not go to any church where 25+ was in charge.

Anonymous said...

socwork said:
"Don't some things NEED to be inflammatory?? Not unnecessarily so, but sometimes it takes someone taking us by the shoulders, shaking us and slapping us in the face (figuratively speaking) for us to WAKE UP!"

Response: I would agree that some things need to wake us up, but not at the expense of the truth. Making a statement that the restaurant charges were "incredible" without giving sufficient data to back it up, falls into the category I am describing. For instance, if I were to try and guess what "incredible" meant, I might think the staff at Bellevue has spent $20,000 on lunches whereas you may think they have spent $5000. We will never know who is right if the real number is not known. If it turns out it was $10,000 then you would have a right to be upset while I would think they were underspending. Making "potentially inflammatory" statements without facts to back it up only blurs that line. It would be better to say," Bellevue spends $10,000 on restaurants and I think that is too much. That's all I'm saying!

Anonymous said...

as far as the restaraunt numbers, how long has Gaines been at BBC now? and wouldn't last years finance report only have maybe 3 months where he could be held accountable for those same numbers?

Anonymous said...

mom4 said:
"socwork said...
"Don't some things NEED to be inflammatory??"

I wonder if Jesus was considered "inflamatory" when he used a whip to chase out the merchants from the temple? "

Response: At least the people He chased out new the size of the whip! I try to be very careful not to use Jesus too much in analogies involving man.

david S said...

Be Patient: “Nothing NEEDS to be inflammatory. If they are factual they should be able to stand on their own.”
And Jesus spoke nice neat truths in the temple... right? And those “Woe to you...” passages from Jesus, think it was inflammatory? Just enough to get him killed.

Be Patient: “And as far as 25+'s list. I see several areas where it differs from "God's list" I don't think the Bible talks about church credit cards.”
The Bible does talk about accountability. I don’t use a church credit card, I turn in my expenses and get paid back when a receipt is given.

Be Patient: “I will not longer respond to any posts about this list though.”
So you would rather stick with gossip, name calling and complaining rather than the issues presented honestly by those who have concerns. You don’t have to agree, but to say you won’t discuss a working list is unfortunate since your insights could be helpful to all. I do happen to know that the list has been modified when there was honest discussion on the points presented.

Be Patient: “All I will say is that I would not go to any church where 25+ was in charge.”
I wouldn’t go to a church where I was in charge. “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” Col. 1:18

Anonymous said...

You bet He was, mom4. He also said a great deal of things that really ticked the religious leaders off. Great point!

Bepatient said...

I would like to comment on the letter from Michael Pruitt.

Clearly he sent this from his private home (note the address). All the deacons have access to each others information. He sent out a letter stating his feelings on the situation.

Why was this not open to Mark Sharpe? Say what you will but I don't think BBC can stop him from using the post office.

Tim said...

bepatient,

Just a random thought.

I have not found electricity mentioned anywhere in the Bible.

Another thought that I would like to present, you stated that you would not go to any church where 25+ was in charge. Could I ask why?
What would bring you to that conclusion?

david S said...

Heardenuf: “I try to be very careful not to use Jesus too much in analogies involving man.”

Isn’t the goal of our salvation to be made more like Christ and less like ourselves?

“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:7

Bepatient said...

david s,

"So you would rather stick with gossip, name calling and complaining rather than the issues presented honestly by those who have concerns."


I will be happy to talk to you about the other issues when you tell me where I have called names or gossiped. I have probably given in to complaining at some point so I won't take issue with that. You are labeling me with some pretty heavy accusations. Or you are welcome to apologize. I will be happy to continue this conversation then as well. The ball is in your court.

david S said...

“You are labeling me with some pretty heavy accusations. Or you are welcome to apologize.”

I apologize.

What I meant was: The direction of the conversation seems to move toward name calling (not form you necessarily) when it is not focused on the issues at hand.

MOM4 said...

heardenuf said...
"I try to be very careful not to use Jesus too much in analogies involving man.”

At the time this happened, Jesus was very much a man, although a man without sin, he still had anger over unrightous behavior in the temple. Just because we are NOT without sin, does not mean that we are to excuse unrightous behavior, expecially in His house.

Bepatient said...

Tim said:
I have not found electricity mentioned anywhere in the Bible.

Another thought that I would like to present, you stated that you would not go to any church where 25+ was in charge. Could I ask why?
What would bring you to that conclusion?



I believe that God has already given us an outline of what the church should be.

And my views on 25+ and whether or not I would go to his church are my own. I am not saying he is a bad person or it would be a bad church. Simply that what he is describing is not the type of place I would want to go.

Anonymous said...

25yrs posted- . Pastoral Accountability to the Congregation:
1. 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!!



REPLY- So, what kind of business meeting? Open to all members?



3. No church credit cards.

REPLY- Disagree


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


REPLY- The $25,000 was not his choice and that has been said weeks and weeks ago. Was it a mistake, very hard to tell. One never knows how that money will be used and what affect it might have.




5. 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.


REPLY- Where will it end? Again, lack of trust in every single area.



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

REPLY- Disagree. Dr. Rogers did also.



1. Those who are part of this lay-elder "power block" need to step down from positions of influence for a long time. Bellevue needs “new blood” in these key positions.


REPLY- I disgree because there is no "power block" New blood is fine and is always needed, but I disgree with reasons.


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

REPLY- This has not been done in a long time. Again, your lists says that we can not trust anyone and what they do. I just do not live like that. How can this be done in a church our size?

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

REPLY- That needs to be addressed. But will be a huge deal and will take some time.


6. A transparent committee selection process.


REPLY- More info please.


8. 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].


REPLY- So why did you not have a problem with Dr. Rogers and others making decisions on building etc as a whole?


9. Bellevue needs to reject Warrenism fully and finally.

REPLY- Who said we did not??

Anonymous said...

4545,

I thought you weren't going to be hanging around anymore?

Anonymous said...

The list I posted simply reflects the result of congregational governance in light of the biblical truth of the priesthood of the believer. Providing things honestly in the sight of all men was the hallmark trait of Paul's ministry (Rom. 12:17, KJV).

The list I posted is for the good of the many not the few. Of course, the few currently in power may not like it.

Jesus is the head of the church. Not SG, any other administrator or deacon, or any poster here obviously. His body is the church. He is the High Priest of our confession and we are all priests to God with equal access to God through Him. This is the basis of congregational governance.

If the leadership wants to know what would help to begin the long process needed to restore trust, then they need to take that list seriously. jmo

Bepatient said...

Thank you David. I really do appreciate that!

1. I am not going to compare us to Jesus. We are supposed to me more like him, but his judgment was perfect and ours is not. So I think we need to be careful that our "righteous" anger is not intertwined with our "human" anger.

2. My problem with the list is this- this is a list about SG and the administration. There is nothing positive on the list and it assumes the worst. There is not one reason we can't have church credit cards unless you are assuming people will misuse them. I have used one before. I used it responsibly. I wasn't in a position to be reimbursed.

I agree there are changes that need to be made in our church. But they needed to be changed long before now. I will be happy to work on a list of changes, but not this one.

And I hope you know that I did not mean that I didn't think God would be in charge of the church. That seems to be putting words in my mouth. Some human person has to be in "charge" of the church operations.

Anonymous said...

4545 said...
I know the list exists!!

swtt said- The amount of money Bellevue spent on restaurants last year is incredible and abusive.


REPLY- Care to be more specific and give some facts? What restaurants, how much etc? I sure hope you are talking more than the times Dr. Gaines took someone or a group out to eat.

REPLY: Since he would only be acccountable for roughly 3 months, how is he to blame for that?

Anonymous said...

Excuse me just a minute,

4545 said..

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


REPLY- The $25,000 was not his choice and that has been said weeks and weeks ago. Was it a mistake, very hard to tell. One never knows how that money will be used and what affect it might have.
......

Uh, I was in attendance at a "communication committee" meeting right after this donation was made and there was much concern and explanation regarding this donation. When questioned by several it was stated the donation was the Pastor's idea as well as the amount of $25,000, and they(finance committee) were going to mail it, but the Pastor wanted it delivered. Thus it was spoken thus it was done.

As I return to lurkdom........

Tim said...

bepatient said...

I believe that God has already given us an outline of what the church should be.

Reply:

You are absolutely correct and it is by the Authority of Scripture that I have become involved with the desire to magnify that point.

The church is currently operated under business principles that would exist in a closely held privately owned corporation. It needs to operate in conjunction with Biblical principles.

25+ list includes many solid Biblical principles. It also magnifies the practices that are currently in place that are not based upon Biblical principles.

If nothing else this list should serve the purpose of bringing us together in the acknowledgement that there is a problem. It should also give us the ability to focus in and define a solution.

The bottom line would be this, either the ideas in the list are Biblical or they are not. If they are Biblical then it should be the goal of every church member to strive to abide in the Biblical principles represented. If they are not, then we should be able to debate and discuss them and revise or remove them as necessary.

Refusing to discuss a solution would indicate in my mind that you are of the opinion that there are no problems. Only you could offer clarification on that and I would sincerely invite your opinions.

Bepatient said...

swtt:

I am still waiting on your verification of the restaurant expenses. This forum is about the TRUTH. Until you provide us with some hard and fast numbers I am going to assume this is gossip.

Anonymous said...

There have been MANY on your side of the issues on this blog give a totally different story on the $25,000.

Anonymous said...

bepatient- I am waiting also.

Bepatient said...

I have never said there are not problems. But when we start a list that is about that and not a catalouge of things SG has been accused of I will be happy to participate.

for example.
I think one area that has always been a problem is the limited access to the pastors office for common members. I can understand how this started, Dr. Rogers would have done nothing but see people if they just let anyone in to talk to him whenever they wanted. But I think there should always have been a clear-cut method for someone to talk to the pastor in a reasonable amount of time. I am not saying it should be a free for all, but there should be a procedure for it.

Anonymous said...

B.P. said: "This forum is about the TRUTH."

Since when?

Did I miss the memo?

Bepatient said...

i would post a copy of the memo...
but my sources are confidential
I don't have to defend myself to you
go find it for yourself
take my word for it. I KNOW. I just can't tell you how.

Tim said...

bepatient,

So you are saying that under the heading;

I. Pastoral Accountability to the Congregation:

You would like to have all seven items removed. But I would surely expect that you would agree that the item itself is Biblical in nature.



Items II and III do not directly address any specifics to Steve Gaines and would be ok in your opinion.

II. Congregational Church governance:
III. Treatment of ministers on staff at BBC and members:

Anonymous said...

I agree, the hangup I have about the list is that is that it sppears more to me to be a list against SG. Not a list about leadership.

I also believe it is too long, too many points, to where it seems like demands.

I do not agree with everything on the list either, but to ask me to agree with a list like that, I can't do.

Tim said...

memphis,

No one is asking for your unconditional agreement. It is a solution that has been presented to address the problems that are apparant at Bellevue. To say that you won't even discuss a solution would indicate that you are not interested in resolve.

Anonymous said...

david s said:

Heardenuf: “I try to be very careful not to use Jesus too much in analogies involving man.”

"Isn’t the goal of our salvation to be made more like Christ and less like ourselves?

“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:7 "

Response:

You missed the forest for the trees. Swtt(a man/woman) posted something that he/she was unwilling to back up.I consider that "potentially inflammatory" as you can see in my posts to socwork above. mom4 basically equated swtt's statement to Jesus driving the money changers from the church. I believe that analogy does not work well. Now you are equating that all of this to a relationship with Christ. I think you are stretching that and that is why this blog needs accountability.Each post should stand on its own merit.

Anonymous said...

Tim, just to clearify, I never said "that you won't even discuss a solution would indicate that you are not interested in resolve."

I remember a few months ago saying the list was to long, then it changed into a 3 part list....

Bepatient said...

Here are the things I would be willing to address on a new list.

Conflict of interest statements.

Review of the bylaws. Other things fall under this like the business meeting thing.

I don't know that I want them to be like GBCs - I want them to be what is right for BBC.

But really and truly. I don't want to talk about this list. If you or someone wants to start a new list of realistic changes that need to be in place regardless of who our pastor is I will be happy to help. I don't feel that I am qualified to do it.

Tim said...

Memphis, bepatient, heardenuf, 4545,

These are the three points:

I. Pastoral Accountability to the Congregation:
II. Congregational Church governance:
III. Treatment of ministers on staff at BBC and members:

Lets start with just those three, which of these need to be revised, debated or removed.

Tim said...

bepatient,

So the there are a few items under the Congregational Governance that you believe should be addressed and they are;

Conflict of interest statements.

Review of the bylaws. Other things fall under this like the business meeting thing.


Resolve will ultimately be based on agreement and result in unity or Resolve will ultimately be based in failure to discuss openly and honestly and result in division.

Bepatient said...

#3 can go. It falls under the others.
As far as #1 I think it should be renamed "Pastoral Responsibilities". then you could break it down into accountability and general operations.

Anonymous said...

4545,
I don't care to share the figures with you. If you feel like you need to know, go ask Mark Doughtarty, David Coombs, or Wayne VanderSteeg. Perhaps if they tell you it's none of your business, it may offend you.

Anonymous said...

mom4 said:

heardenuf said...
"I try to be very careful not to use Jesus too much in analogies involving man.”

At the time this happened, Jesus was very much a man, although a man without sin, he still had anger over unrightous behavior in the temple. Just because we are NOT without sin, does not mean that we are to excuse unrightous behavior, expecially in His house.

2:04 PM, January 12, 2007

What does this have to do with the fact that I asked swtt not to post "potentially inflammatory" statements that could not be verified? You are the one who brought Jesus and the moneychangers into it, which by the way, is a poor analogy that doesn't fit my statement o swtt.You're taking different posts and coming up with your own story. Have you ever played the pass it on game where one person whispers something and then the next and next and finally it ends up coming out completely different? This blog is just a high tech version of that!

Anonymous said...

I have a dream...

That a time will come at Bellevue when sin will once again be treated as sin...

That a time will come at Bellevue that along with the truth about forgiveness, the truth about sin's consequences in this life will be taught...

That a time will come at Bellevue when the pastor will have time to answer questions from the congregation in a real business meeting (that will be moderated in such a way as to show love and respect to all participating--pastor and people) instead of having self-serving, informational meetings...

That a time will come at Bellevue when the pastor will be accountable to the congregation...

That a time will come at Bellevue when there will be a new set of bylaws that will provide checks and balances on the power of the pastor's office, will treat the office of deacon scripturally, and will address the concerns of power plays among members of the laity...

That a time will come at Bellevue when ministers who serve the church will be dealt with scripturally when they sin in a disqualifying way...

That a time will come at Bellevue when ministers who serve the church well for years will be able to speak freely from the heart with joy about their years at Bellevue without having to sign non-disclosure statements...

That a time will come at Bellevue when many of the discerning christians who have left will return to help with Bellevue's restoration...

That a time will come at Bellevue when the elderly among the membership will be able to sing the hymns that they know and love and not be made to feel as though their church has disappeared over night...

That a time will come at Bellevue when the standing ovations for performances will cease and a chorus of "amens" will ring out in worship directed to God alone...

That a time will come at Bellevue when the giving of staff and membership will be an undistracted act of worship without any concern that the pastor will be making a list and checking it twice...

That a time will come at Bellevue when "We are one in the bond of love..." will be sung from the heart by all present with beaming faces...

That a time will come at Bellevue when the heaviness of this day will be lifted and this time of contention will be a distant memory...

jmo

Anonymous said...

tim said:

"Memphis, bepatient, heardenuf, 4545,

These are the three points:

I. Pastoral Accountability to the Congregation:
II. Congregational Church governance:
III. Treatment of ministers on staff at BBC and members:

Lets start with just those three, which of these need to be revised, debated or removed.

2:48 PM, January 12, 2007 "

Response:
How did I get lumped into this conversation? ;) I've got enough trouble helping people understand the stuff between socwork/mom4 and me! ;)

Bin Wonderin said...

Hey 25+, I like that list!

Anonymous said...

Tim,
Personally,
Leadership Accountability to the Congregation is something I could deal with, as long as that statement includes pastors, music leaders, deacons, BFC leaders, church employees, and members, etc...

Bepatient said...

tim- I would suggest if you are truly interested in working on a list- why do we start another blog specifically for that. I don't think this is something we can sit here and do in a day amidst all the other arguments. We should take it one item at a time and pray and back each thing with scripture.

Tim said...

heardenuf,

You are as much a part of the solution as others. I saw you here and wanted to gain your opinions on the formulation of a solution.

Anonymous said...

swtt, if you do not have the amounts, just say so.

Anonymous said...

heardnuf,
How do you know people are not tithing? Perhaps they have left Bellevue or are giving to another church that is accountable to their membership. Some people don't think tithing to a church with leadership that mispends money is not being a good steward.
I don't find fault with anyone who sends their tithes somewhere else until things get right.

Anonymous said...

swtt- Ok, don't share, but be more specific to what you are talking about please. Are you referring to charges by Dr. Gaines when he has taken one person or a group out??

By the way, many Deacons and non-Deacons have seen the same thing you have seen and have no issues with any of it.

Anonymous said...

Tim said:
tim said:

"Memphis, bepatient, heardenuf, 4545,

These are the three points:

I. Pastoral Accountability to the Congregation:

Response:
I believe it exists but not at the level some want. We could debate this for days.Mega churches are just different. It is hard to conduct a face-to-face with this many people. At some point we have to trust our leadership or find leadership we trust.

II. Congregational Church governance:
Again, to the extent that a mega church can have this, I think we do. It has been this way for many, many years.

III. Treatment of ministers on staff at BBC and members:

Everyone should follow the golden rule. It would make life much easier.

That's all I have time for now!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bin Wonderin. As I recall, you got the ball rolling. I just collected thoughts from the blog and helped keep it rolling.

Thanks Tim. You're love for Bellevue--all of the people-- is evident.

Anonymous said...

"swtt said:
heardnuf,
How do you know people are not tithing? Perhaps they have left Bellevue or are giving to another church that is accountable to their membership. Some people don't think tithing to a church with leadership that mispends money is not being a good steward.
I don't find fault with anyone who sends their tithes somewhere else until things get right. "

I didn't say that. Here is what I did say:

Response: I pray that those who are not bringing, as Dr. Rogers used to say, "God's tithe to God's house on God's day, that God's work/will will be done in God's way" , are putting God's money into another church and not withholding God's money to harm or intimidate Steve Gaines and Bellevue.

"Putting God's money into another church" being the important part you didn't see.
Please try to quote people correctly as this only adds to the confusion. I use cut and paste and quotes if I'm going to quote someone's thread.

Anonymous said...

AMEN 25 PLUS!THANK YOU FOR REPOSTING THE IMPORTANT CHANGES WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE AT BELLEVUE.I SAT IN ON BOTH COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTE MEETINGS AND THIS ELDER LED BLOCK IS TRYING AND HOPING WE WILL GO AWAY.I SUPPORT MARK SHARP RICHARD EMERSON AND DR.MICHAEL SPRADLIN FOR STANDING FOR THE TRUTH AND OTHERS WHO SEE WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING AT BELLEVUE.4545 GO TO YOUR ROOM......

Tim said...

Bepatient said...

tim- I would suggest if you are truly interested in working on a list- why do we start another blog specifically for that. I don't think this is something we can sit here and do in a day amidst all the other arguments. We should take it one item at a time and pray and back each thing with scripture.

Reply:

I agree completely that it cannot be done in a day. This forum however is the place to formulate solutions. The arguments are over problems, solutions will far outweigh arguments. Certainly I would expect that some things would take a great deal of prayer other things I believe we could readily be in agreement on.

So far I believe that we have reached an agreement on theses two items

I. Leadership Accountability to the Congregation:

II. Congregational Church Governance:


It would be my opinon that under item I. it would be appropriate to define the leadership postions specifically.

A. Pastoral Staff
B. Ministerial Staff
c. Staff Employees
D. Deacon Body
E. Church Committees
F. Church Membership

Perhaps I have left something out or something needs to be changed, but it seems to me that since each office is different that each responsibilities should be defined.

Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

memphis, 4545, foolparade, herdnuf,
You are not going to like my figures or trust them so get your figures from the source. It can be done. There are those in the finance office that have access to these figures. I again would encourage you to go to Mark D, David C, Wayne V, or Chip F for your figures. I warn you on the front end however, they may tell you it's not your business to know.
I'm as sorry about this as you are but I want you to not take my word for it. Go to the source yourself.
Thanks and have a nice day.

Tim said...

It is also just an opinion but I believe that there are two items under III. that need to be kept somewhere.

III. Treatment of ministers on staff at BBC and members:
1. A whistle blower policy for ministers, staff, and members.
2. The end of signing non-disclosure statements and release of any staff that is currently bound by a prior non-disclosure agreement.

Anonymous said...

Swtt, take your word on what??? You have not said anything but your opinion on it. Is it unfair of us to ask you what the number is? Maybe we'll agree, maybe we won't, but to come out and make a statement like you did, then refuse to elaborate on it or verify it is wrong in my opinion.

Bepatient said...

Tim- I still stand by my feeling we need to discuss it somewhere else. there is too much to weed through here. It is too hard to stay focused. I don't have time to do any more today.

Anonymous said...

You said this?
4545 said...
swtt- Ok, don't share, but be more specific to what you are talking about please. Are you referring to charges by Dr. Gaines when he has taken one person or a group out??

By the way, many Deacons and non-Deacons have seen the same thing you have seen and have no issues with any of it.

---

My response is what difference does it make to me that you know deacons and nondeacons who have no problem with this. This doesn't surprise me. Have you looked at the latest letter on savingbellevue.com from a deacon? Did you ever read the nast hateful emails from deacons to concerned members when Chuch Taylor encouraged members to contact deacons. Have you read any letters from Sister Pam about how she has been treated by deacons, staff, and nondeacons? We shouldn't judge right vs. wrong on what deacons think or don't think. We base our decisions on what the Word says.

Anonymous said...

Memphis out

Anonymous said...

swtt- Ok, don't share, but be more specific to what you are talking about please. Are you referring to charges by Dr. Gaines when he has taken one person or a group out??

If you cannot give facts or at least more details of what you are talking about, you should have never opened your mouth.

Anonymous said...

herdnuf,
Are you saying if someone gives their tithe to another church besides Bellevue, it's not tithing? What about those who have moved their membership? I stand behind by interpretation of your post. I don't see anything wrong with members sending their tithes somewhere else. It's not to punish Steve Gaines. It's being a good steward of what God has given you. If you know the leadership is not being a good steward of the tithes, leadership is dealing in secrecy, and the leadership refuses to have any communication on these issues, then I think it's wrong to continue to feed their habit. Our family has been giving where the Holy Spirit has led us to give which has not been to Bellevue for several months now. If you feel led to give to Bellevue, I'm not telling you otherwise. I think you should continue but don't tell others who are being led somewhere else it's wrong. I believe the day is coming soon, when all of this discussion is going to be over with. I pray it's soon.

Anonymous said...

Question
Why hasn"T CHUCK TAYLOR NOT APOLIGIZED TO MARK SHARP AND RICHARD EMERSON FOR CALLING THEM SINFUL BROTHERS?SHOULD WE ASK HARRY SMITH OR DO WE NEED TO SIGN A DOCUMENT TO GET THAT ANSWERED....FOLKS THERE ARE ALOT OF UNANSWERED QUESTIONS OUT THERE AND I SEE A MOVEMENT TO TRY TO SWEEP THIS UNDER THE RUG AGAIN.I DO NOT TRUST THE THE INTEGRITY OF SG OR THIS ELDER LED INNER CIRCLE...WE STILL ARE WAITING FOR ANSWERS BUT THE ANSWER FROM SG IS NO.IF WE ASK HARRY ITS I DON"T NO.TO MANY NO"S.NO ACCOUNTABILITY JUST LEGALISM...

Anonymous said...

All caps does not help get you point across, it actually hurts.

Anonymous said...

swtt said:
herdnuf,
"Are you saying if someone gives their tithe to another church besides Bellevue, it's not tithing? "

Response:
No, I never said that. I said I pray that they are putting God's money into another church. It's tithing no matter where you put it. How did you glean that from what I said? I think you're reading more into it than there is or you are reading incorrectly.


"What about those who have moved their membership? I stand behind by interpretation of your post."

Response:
Your interpretation was: "How do you know people are not tithing" I still don't see how you got that from what I said.


"I don't see anything wrong with members sending their tithes somewhere else. "

Response:
We may disagree on that. If you are a member of something you should support it. If I were sending my (God's) money somewhere else, I would want to be wher it (the money) was being used. But that's me.


"It's not to punish Steve Gaines. It's being a good steward of what God has given you. If you know the leadership is not being a good steward of the tithes, leadership is dealing in secrecy, and the leadership refuses to have any communication on these issues, then I think it's wrong to continue to feed their habit."

Response: Others of us do not agree with your assesment and that is why many people can't understand why anyone would want to be a member of a church that they don't agree with.


"Our family has been giving where the Holy Spirit has led us to give which has not been to Bellevue for several months now. If you feel led to give to Bellevue, I'm not telling you otherwise. I think you should continue but don't tell others who are being led somewhere else it's wrong. I believe the day is coming soon, when all of this discussion is going to be over with. I pray it's soon. "

Response: I didn't tell anyone anything. You really need to read carefully and then qoute accurately. People could get the wrong impression of you and me!

Here's the original post so everyone can decide for themselves:

swtt said:

"At the end of June 2006, giving was up 25% over budget. We were on target to have $30-32 million (yes that's $30,000,000 to $32,000,000) in tithes and offerings by December 31. It looks like we ended up 5% over the $25 million budget which is about $26,500,000. The last half of the year's giving started going down and for the last quarter, giving was actually below budget. Less money taken in the last quarter than what the budgeted expenses were. I don't remember that ever happening."

Response: I pray that those who are not bringing, as Dr. Rogers used to say, "God's tithe to God's house on God's day, that God's work/will will be done in God's way" , are putting God's money into another church and not withholding God's money to harm or intimidate Steve Gaines and Bellevue.

1:35 PM, January 12, 2007

Anonymous said...

swtt said:
"memphis, 4545, foolparade, herdnuf,
You are not going to like my figures or trust them so get your figures from the source. It can be done."
Response: They're not your figures, so why not post them. If they are from Bellevue, I'll trust them.We can verify them after you post them to see if we can trust you.

"There are those in the finance office that have access to these figures. I again would encourage you to go to Mark D, David C, Wayne V, or Chip F for your figures. I warn you on the front end however, they may tell you it's not your business to know.
I'm as sorry about this as you are but I want you to not take my word for it. Go to the source yourself.
Thanks and have a nice day.

3:21 PM, January 12, 2007 "

Then how did you get them and why are you not willing to uncover more "secrets" from Bellevue. You would gain much credibility (at least from me) if you showed numbers that could be verified instead of just talking about them in a manner that seems prejudicial. I refer you back to your "incredible" comment.

Anonymous said...

I'm gone now, but I'll be back!

Anonymous said...

herdnuf,
Thanks for making your points a little more clear.
We could discuss the tithing issue (already been done weeks ago) for the next year and we all would never agree on everything. I do beleive everything you own belongs to God and we are to give all of it to Him.
Thanks and have a nice evening.

Anonymous said...

4545, Heardenuf...SWTT has given you the opportunity to do something that you have been so screaming about...1st hand information. SWTT could perhaps tell you the exact amount and you probably would not believe him/her.
You would probably say that it was just another rumor. So, he/she has lobbed it out there to get the info. yourself. Perhaps you are afraid of what you will find? Or perhaps you wish to continue to whine about SWTT not telling you and offering you what you have been saying you want?

allofgrace said...

Mutual accountability is a Biblical concept isn't it?...i mean the apostle Paul made himself accountable did he not? Making a pastor accountable to no one "but God" puts things into a personally interpretive unknown...it's dangerous for the congregation...and dangerous for a pastor. Mutual accountability is for everyone's protection. We are to be priests before God and to each other, speaking the truth in love..exhorting, encouraging, reproving, and rebuking when necessary, with all Godly wisdom and humility.

Anonymous said...

Swtt,

I would appreciate you either posting those figures publicly or even via email to me...acefromthebbcforum@yahoo.com or acefrombbc@gmail.com - I won't say they are rumors. Just give me some numbers to prove that you know what you are talking about.

Thanks. If I don't get any numbers from you, I will assume you were making your statements up and you have no proof to backup your posts.

ezekiel said...

3rdside,

Good post! but that would take all the fun out of the record keeping and use therof, for better or worse...

I think you describe the way it should be, obviously not the way it is.....

We have heard Acts 4:32 used to justify the way we do it today. I would suggest including 4:33,34,35 as well.

Does BBC have a perpetual system to help people in need within our congregation? Medication, medical assistance, food, clothing, housing?

Anonymous said...

At Bellevue.org, a status report from the investigative committee is posted. Not much new except the names of committee members and due dates.

Anonymous said...

Swtt, guess I should have included Ace in my comment.

Ace, go look for yourself.

Anonymous said...

ByeBelle,

Ace, go look for yourself.

Maybe I already have looked for myself and am now trying to see if swtt knows what he is talking about? Hmmm... I'm still waiting...

Tim said...

This is what is on the Bellevue.org web site.

Interim Report

Anonymous said...

Says they are working with DCS through counsel, does that mean lawyers?

Anonymous said...

Ace, why do you think that Swtt has to prove anything to you. He knows what he knows, that's all any of us knows. He knows where to get the info. and has told us all where to get it. He doesn't have to prove anything to anyone. If you already know, then great!

Anonymous said...

What were the old policies?

Tim said...

Mexico,

That was what I was what my understanding was from DCS on Monday or Tuesday and reported to the blog at that time. There seemed to be confusion during the week concerning what cooperation with DCS investigation meant. The church is cooperating thru legal counsel, individual staff members are not cooperating in a manner apart from legal counsel.

Anonymous said...

ByeBelle,
You were so right when pointing them to the source. That's all I was trying to do. No matter what is posted on this blog, Ace4545hiserventhernufetc continue to scream show me, prove it, let me get my hands on it, etc. Even after hearing and seeing, they have a hard time believing. I've found that there are always people out there that only see what they want to see. That's the only explanation I ever came up with for Bill Clinton supporters. No matter what the evidence showed, it was never enough for some. This is exactly why we are this point at Bellevue today. Truth has been swept under the rug and there are roomcleaners that assist in putting the dirt under the rug.
God bless you.

Anonymous said...

ByeBelle,

Ace, why do you think that Swtt has to prove anything to you.

He doesn't really have to prove anything to just me. He has to prove it to the entire forum. I am not the only one wanting to see the numbers he has but he has chosen not to post them...why? More than likely because he doesn't really have them and is making stuff up. If he has the numbers, then he needs to post some facts instead of gossip.

He knows what he knows, that's all any of us knows.

Actually, that's the problem. People believe stuff before it's proven and that's where the gossip starts.

He doesn't have to prove anything to anyone.

Actually, he does. Swtt, I'm still waiting....

Anonymous said...

Very happy with what I see here!!!!!


Tim, BePatient, (note to everyone at the end)

You both get cookies for your efforts today.


Yes... why don't the two of you use the blogspots that you created when you opened your blogger accounts?


Both of you post your personal version of an acceptable list.

Then bloggers can go back and forther between your two blogs and comment.


We'll meet somewhere in the middle.


Like a miniature "Constitutional Convention" like back in 1789.


-----------


Everyone:



note we now have politically correct names for the two opposing groups:

Pro-Gaines
Pro-Bellevue

Is that fair to everyone?


(back offline/ "post and run")

Anonymous said...

Swtt,

With your last post you have proven something to me. You have no idea what you're talking about.

Thanks for setting that issue clear for everyone else to see.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Michael R. Pruett:

I have just read your letter on the blog.

Some years ago, I had a very unpleasant expereince where I felt my life had been threatend. I went to the law inforcement and explained what had happened and what was said. This offficer of the law replied to me that, "if I felt that I had been threatend, then I had been."

As I read your letter today this incident came to mind. Ever since SG has been at BBC, I do not feel any love, compassion, or respect from him or his "fench jumping partners." To see how you express the love, honor and integrity of SG reminds me of a funeral I attened one time. The preacher was putting on such accolades, it was all I could do, to keep from getting up and walking to the casket to see if it was the same person that he was talking about.

As I recall, we have been told over and over, "if you do not like it, leave." Unless this was a mistake of the mind and not the heart, Bro. Steve will admit to telling people this.

You quoted," I ask you to seriously consider bringing this matter of slander on our pastor to the church so that it can be seen and acknowledged for what it is." I have a suggestion. Read John 8:32,
Jesus said "And ye shall know the truth , and the truth shall make you free." That sound so simple to me for the church to be open and above board. Open the books for all to see. If, there is nothing to hide, what is there to fear? Contact all member and let us have a business meeting.

Anonymous said...

Tim, BePatient...


I will see if I can create a blog where you are the only two allowed to post. You will be the representatives for the pro-Gaines and pro-BBC groups.

Then you can work together on your versions of the list on the same site.

(offline)

Anonymous said...

byebelle said:

"4545, Heardenuf...SWTT has given you the opportunity to do something that you have been so screaming about...1st hand information."

Response:
I don't think I've been screaming.


"SWTT could perhaps tell you the exact amount and you probably would not believe him/her.
You would probably say that it was just another rumor. So, he/she has lobbed it out there to get the info. yourself. Perhaps you are afraid of what you will find? Or perhaps you wish to continue to whine about SWTT not telling you and offering you what you have been saying you want?


Response: I hereby promise that I will not say swtt made up the figures/that the figures are innacurate/that I am afraid etc. I don't think swtt knows what the figures are and am trying to get him/her to admit it. If he/she does know, it would be easily verified and I would gladly apologize for just stating that I don't believe him/her knows.I'm just trying to prove a point: If you know something as a fact...post it. If you don't know... don't post it. If you know, but don't want to give details... don't post it in a manner that says "an incredible" amount. Just say, Bellevue spends a lot! I don't think that's whining to ask for details and he is not offering what we want... the numbers he says he posesses.

Anonymous said...

Ace,
There is day coming soon when all will be exposed. Whether you believe anything on this blog or not is irrelevant. Whether you believe in gravity doesn't chage the fact that if you drop an apple from a tree, it will drop to the ground. I stand behind my statemen. The amount of money spent by Bellevue at restaurants this past year is staggering.

Anonymous said...

Ace said...
"More than likely because he doesn't really have them and is making stuff up. If he has the numbers, then he needs to post some facts instead of gossip".

One also might think that you are posting gossip by implying that Swtt is making this up. Once again,
Swtt has told you exactly where to get this info. Take him up on it.
Like I said, he does not have to prove anything to anyone. That does not equal gossip.

Anonymous said...

ForSuchATime,

I stand behind my statemen. The amount of money spent by Bellevue at restaurants this past year is staggering.

Are you swtt? If not, do you have figures for us?

Anonymous said...

SWTT, Tim, 25+yrs, wtn, piglet, phil413, wounded and bleeding
You are my hero's.

Anonymous said...

ByeBelle,

One also might think that you are posting gossip by implying that Swtt is making this up

Swtt has not proven us otherwise. I will retract my statement that he doesn't know what he's talking about when he starts posting facts.

Swtt has told you exactly where to get this info. Take him up on it.

Again - who says I didn't go where he pointed me earlier? Nobody. I'm asking swtt for his info to verify if it is correct. It's as simple as that...really...it's not that hard to understand.

Like I said, he does not have to prove anything to anyone.

Uhm, let me see.... Yes he does.

Anonymous said...

I might be Mrs. SWTT

Anonymous said...

swtt said:

ByeBelle,
"You were so right when pointing them to the source. That's all I was trying to do."
Response:
No, it appears to me that you were trying to make it sound bad by saying "incredible". If it is incredible, let's see it. You will gain much credibility here from all.

"No matter what is posted on this blog, Ace4545hiserventhernufetc continue to scream show me, prove it, let me get my hands on it, etc."

Response: Did he say, let me get my hands on it and was he screaming? Please use quotes instead of embellishing.

"Even after hearing and seeing, they have a hard time believing. I've found that there are always people out there that only see what they want to see."

Response. All we have heard and seen is you saying it is an "incredible" amount. I have yet to see the amount to determine if it is in fact incredible.

"That's the only explanation I ever came up with for Bill Clinton supporters."

Response:
Please don't lump us in with them. I believe many who think like you refuse to believe what the people at Bellevue say and yet no one has equated you with Bill Clinton.

" No matter what the evidence showed, it was never enough for some. This is exactly why we are this point at Bellevue today. Truth has been swept under the rug and there are roomcleaners that assist in putting the dirt under the rug.
God bless you."
Response:
Maybe if you told us the evidence you say you have we could see the dirt under the carpet. You and all of us, just need to be held accountable for what and how you and we state things in a public forum. That is what this is really all about. I could care less about the numbers that you would post as to whether they are accurate. It just seems odd that you refuse to post information that could give you "incredible" credibility with me and others.

4:54 PM, January 12, 2007

No matter what is posted on this blog, Ace4545hiserventhernufetc continue to scream show me, prove it, let me get my hands on it, etc. Even after hearing and seeing, they have a hard time believing. I've found that there are always people out there that only see what they want to see. That's the only explanation I ever came up with for Bill Clinton supporters. No matter what the evidence showed, it was never enough for some. This is exactly why we are this point at Bellevue today. Truth has been swept under the rug and there are roomcleaners that assist in putting the dirt under the rug.
God bless you.

4:54 PM, January 12, 2007

Anonymous said...

The "PC Labels" are no good.

I support our pastor. (This has not always been the case, but God has changed my heart.)

I also support our church.

So I am Pro-Gaines AND Pro-Bellevue.

But above it all I am Pro-Jesus, and Pro-His-Word.

Anonymous said...

I have reposted below Bellevue Friend's 1:41 post. As I was catching up this afternoon, I was stunned to see that no one had commented on this post. So often, people at a distance have a much clearer picture than those up close (forest and trees?). This dear friend has gently rebuked both sides and zeroed in on the only course of action we can take that will cure the problem. See #10 below.

Apparently we would all rather continue to argue about shoes and restaurant charges than to consider thoughtfully and prayerfully the wise words of a brother in Christ.

I invite you to re-read the post below and comment.

TS

Bellevue Friend said...
Friends,

It's been said that any church in America, is 24 hours away from a major conflict. You dear people at Bellevue, know the truth of that statement.

As a veteran Pastor with an nearly 20 years of experience, I would like to state my feelings as I think of Bellevue and the entire situation.

1. Dr. Rogers was well, Dr. Rogers! And we all know that anyone who follows him, has there work cut out for him....and has big shoes to fill, if you will :)

2. Speaking of shoes, when this blog begins to question the price of a Pastor's shoes, you appear to be petty and judgmental, and that’s true of restaurant choices etc!

3. In my opinion, Dr. Gaines did not, and does not have a desire to ruin Bellevue. What Pastor would want to hurt, a Church of the living God? And for those who site examples from former Churches i.e. (the complaints of disgruntled members) you need to know that no Pastor who has ever served anywhere has not had his detractors....none!

4. I do believe Dr. Gaines has made many mistakes, and feeling the pressure of a brewing Church conflict, made the biggest
( Mistake) to date in not allowing the Church to deal with the immorality of a staff member.

5. Some bloggers have said all the problems are to be laid at Dr. Gaines feet. I would submit to you that behind the “Blowing Hellish winds of Church conflict" is the enemy of our souls!

6. The people of God must emulate Jesus who on the cross did not retaliate, but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly!

7. I can only imagine the heartache the Gaines family is going through, and you too are have to go through the same intense pain, as is the son of the staff member in question.

8. I remember reading a book by Max Lacado where he writes of Grace and the salvation of serial killer Jeffery Dalmer....Grace means that all of us our vile sinners, who can be cleansed by the blood of Jesus! And as far as the east is from the west our God remembers our iniquity no more! Praise His Holy Name!

9. That said, ministers are and should be held to a higher standard.

10. Bellevue needs to be broken, needs to repent, needs to call a Solemn Assembly, and the leadership needs, a a business meeting to answer the legitimate questions that God's people have.

It's been said, "Peace is such a wonderful thing, I would trade almost anything in the world for it....except the truth".

God is in control, and I am praying for Bellevue, and for you and for Dr. Gaines, and that Bellevue would continue to be brought to her knees, for the purpose to look up, to the Author and Finisher of our Faith!

1:41 PM, January 12, 2007

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Bellevue Friend...

moosergs said...

heardenuf said

We may disagree on that. If you are a member of something you should support it. If I were sending my (God's) money somewhere else, I would want to be wher it (the money) was being used. But that's
me.

Response: I am a member of Bellevue and I am currently sending my tithe to another organization. Why am I still a member if I disagree with the church? I hope that things will change in the near future or I will not be a member.

Tim said...

Bible,

I appreciate the offer but I feel that this would be far better served by blogger collectively. The more that could be involved in the process of providing solutions the better off we will all be.

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

truthsleuth,

bellevue freind said...

10. Bellevue needs to be broken, needs to repent, needs to call a Solemn Assembly, and the leadership needs, a a business meeting to answer the legitimate questions that God's people have.

It's been said, "Peace is such a wonderful thing, I would trade almost anything in the world for it....except the truth".


Reply:
I saw the post. Unfortunately, concerning a business meeting we have already been told, "It ain't gonna happen". With that in mind we should still be working toward mutually agreeable solutions.

There are similarities to 25+ list, but I would appreciate cooperation from all and as much agreement as possible. This is what we have agreed thus far. I would hope that this could be developed much further.

I. Leadership Accountability to the Congregation:
A. Pastoral Staff
B. Ministerial Staff
C. Staff Employees
D. Deacon Body
E. Church Committees
F. Church Membership
II. Congregational Church Governance:

It would certainly seem to make more sense to work toward resolve than foster divisions.

Just My Opinion said...

So guys, help me to understand the dilemma that we have on hand. Apparently someone within the ranks (assume staff position) at Bellevue has provided a confidential memo to swtt. Now swtt is claiming excessive expenses without giving any details.

So my young adult child is asking me, "wouldn't it be wrong to accept and utilize something of which you were not the intended recipient?" And, "isn't it wrong to violate a trust of your position to provide something that was given to you or you obtained?" And finally, "Dad, is this what is meant when people say 'the ends justify the means?'"

I have given my response, what say you guys?

Anonymous said...

BF wrote...

10. Bellevue needs to be broken, needs to repent...

Before anything, Bellevue does need to be broken. That includes pro-Gaines people, pro Bellevue people, those on neither side, those who don't want to know there ARE sides, deacons, leadership and pastor.

This site has revealed a lot of truth to anyone who cares to see, as well as a lot of rumors, innuendo and speculation. At this point in time, there isn't anything new to reveal. Let's not waste our time rehashing and arguing about things that don't matter.

Why don't those on this site, on both sides, take a season to lead one another to that brokeness that BF and Joe Jernigan are talking about. Many here are wonderfully gifted in dividing God's Word. Any one of you could begin to lead us there that we might pray together for God to deal with each of us and our church with the end result that He brings glory to Himself.

Can we do that? NASS, Ace, AOG, 4545, Bible, BePatient, WTB, MJM, Tim, memphis, swtt...?

"...wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I will be with them..." Come, Lord Jesus.

TS

WOUNDEDANDBLEEDING said...

Dear Brother Michael Pruitt,

I greet you in the most holy name of Jesus, in whom I make my being.

I want to assure you that I love you and respect you dear brother and would never want to say anything to hurt you or offend you but Brother Michael, your letter which has appeared on the savingbellevue website is an offense unto the LORD for it is not truthful dear brother and thereby not of the LORD.

You took vows to represent Jesus through your service as a deacon and in doing so you are to walk in TRUTH at all times. Your letter is too sad when I think on who you are suppose to represent.

Your words run contrary even to our pastors and I am afraid that you are causing more harm to him that need be. The Pastoe has admitted doing some wrong, I can assure you that many members can personally testify of the harm he has done to them, so be very careful dear deacon in the words that you say.

Sometimes when we take up an offense for others, we end up stumbling into sin ourselves and I humbly suggest that this may be the case with your defensive call to arms against members of the church who simply have been truthful and forthright in their words and deeds.

Brother Michael, I think I need to share with you that Brother Charles and I have no cares or concerns at all as to whether you excomminicated us from Bellevue for it would certainly be less painful than what many of your brothers have already done to us.

If the church is ready to walk out Matthew 18 that would indeed be a refreshing wind but TRUTH can be tried as sin and we will never deny the TRUTH to anyone for any reason.

If you succeed in gathering the four winds of hell against us , to blow us away, please allow Brother Charles and I to be first in line on that day, for we would consider it a privledge to walk through any wind or fire of hell for our dear LORD`s sake.

We died to ourselves a long time ago and you have no power over our souls and, in fact, should you plow us asunder, the LORD will only raise us up again to HIS glory and for HIS glory and by HIS glory.

But, what I really want you to know is that I care about your soul Brother Michael and it is painful to see how blind you really are to the TRUTH and the Bible is very clear on the fact that we are called to be LOVERS OF THE TRUTH, for the TRUTH is part of JESUS` own idenity and it is a grievous and very dangerous sin to deny TRUTH. In doing so, can you not see that you are actually denying JESUS?

We will be praying for you dear brother and please remember we love you.

Under HIS wings and in HIS love,
Sister Pam Gremillion

Anonymous said...

The greatest example of brokeness...

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!


TS

Anonymous said...

Quote: "So guys, help me to understand the dilemma that we have on hand. Apparently someone within the ranks (assume staff position) at Bellevue has provided a confidential memo to swtt. Now swtt is claiming excessive expenses without giving any details.

So my young adult child is asking me, "wouldn't it be wrong to accept and utilize something of which you were not the intended recipient?" And, "isn't it wrong to violate a trust of your position to provide something that was given to you or you obtained?" And finally, "Dad, is this what is meant when people say 'the ends justify the means?'"

I have given my response, what say you guys? "

I wonder why the Body of Christ has a confidential memo in the first place. That information should be available to the Body...to the world. What have we to hide as Christians?

Anonymous said...

Something for the list:

1 Corinthians 5

WOUNDEDANDBLEEDING said...

Greetings to you in Jesus` strong name!

My dear Brother and Sisters in Christ Jesus, I wanted to share a little note with you before I leave the forum this evening.

TRUTH is something that Brother Charles and I do not debate.

TRUTH can not be divided for there are no sides to TRUTH so we don`t try to nitpick the TRUTH.

TRUTH sets one free to be all the LORD calls them to be, so we are not afraid of it.

TRUTH is JESUS and JESUS is TRUTH. We are careful to embrace the TRUTH!

TRUTH LOVERS do not have to worry about GOD`s promise to bring a strong delusion so that they might believe a lie. We don`t want to be caught up in a great delusion sent by GOD so we are LOVERS OF THE TRUTH.

TRUTH is honorable and always in style so we pray the LORD will clothed us in HIS TRUTH.

Let TRUTH have her perfect way in your life today.

I also wanted to let you know that Brother Charles and I do not keep promises to men for the mere sake of keeping a promise.

If the LORD calls us to do something that we promised someone we would not do, GOD wins!

We are careful not to make promises for just that reason and no one who follow the LORD should ever believe they should remain silent while evil triumphs just because they made soneone a promise.

Dear Ones, be careful not to get caught up in being true to promises that you make to others but rather stay true to the LORD in all things, at all times!

We care about you!

Have a wonderful weekend in the LORD!

Under HIS wigns and in HIS love,
Sister Pam

Just My Opinion said...

lindon wrote: "I wonder why the Body of Christ has a confidential memo in the first place. That information should be available to the Body...to the world. What have we to hide as Christians?"

Well we are instructed to hide the Word of God in our hearts.

And you missed the point entirely...now, I can just hear my child say "Dad, do two wrongs make a right?". Your comparative comment is just that ideology in action.

This is an ethics question which most business schools teach today in the aftermath of Enron. Doing the right thing and obeying the rules are not new ideas. Jesus told us to render unto Caesars what is Caesars...which instructs us to obey the law of the land.

I do agree with the rights of the membership to view documents but follow the postings by swtt. He encouraged others to seek out the proper means whereby he received his information outside the proper channels. And as my child would say "do as I say, not as I do".

Bin Wonderin said...

People that don't care that Bellevue has entered the pedophile era and that Bellevue does not cooperate with the District Attorney won't care how much is spent on lunch.

They just want their ears tickled.

Anonymous said...

cjesusnme

Did you get my email today?

Anonymous said...

Quote from friendofbellevue: "As a veteran Pastor with an nearly 20 years of experience, I would like to state my feelings as I think of Bellevue and the entire situation."

Pastor, will all due respect to you, I must disagree with what looks like a bit of 'pop Theology' that is infesting our churches

"3. In my opinion, Dr. Gaines did not, and does not have a desire to ruin Bellevue. What Pastor would want to hurt, a Church of the living God? "

I can name hundreds and I will start with Rick Warren and end with Rob Bell. However, what you mean by 'ruin' is what divides here. Rightly so.

"And for those who cite examples from former Churches i.e. (the complaints of disgruntled members) you need to know that no Pastor who has ever served anywhere has not had his detractors....none!"

Any pastor worth his M.Div will listen to his detractors and test their complaints with the Word. We are a 'priesthood' of believers.

"4. I do believe Dr. Gaines has made many mistakes, and feeling the pressure of a brewing Church conflict, made the biggest
( Mistake) to date in not allowing the Church to deal with the immorality of a staff member."

Mistake? Do you really think ignoring scripture, I Corinthians 5, is a 'mistake' when protecting a minister of prayer that sodomized his son?

"5. Some bloggers have said all the problems are to be laid at Dr. Gaines feet. I would submit to you that behind the “Blowing Hellish winds of Church conflict" is the enemy of our souls!"

And satan works through people who let him. Unfortuantly. Conflict is NOT always bad. Purify the Bride of Christ. Has everyone forgotten what happened to Annanias and Sapphira because they lied to the church? It was not over money folks, it was over what was in their hearts. Deception.

"6. The people of God must emulate Jesus who on the cross did not retaliate, but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly!"

He saved His choice words for the Pharisees. Who were they? The 'religious' leaders who put burdens on others they were not willing to carry themselves. They were arrogant and proud. As I recall, there were some choice words for Peter from Paul and for Diontrephes from John. Those are just a few. Was that retaliation?

Do you honestly think asking questions and wondering what is going on is retaliating? Do you think this blog is retaliation? Why not call for transparancy from the leaders? Open the books, bring out the files. What is there to hide? Only Pharisees have things to hide. Shepherds don't.

"7. I can only imagine the heartache the Gaines family is going through, and you too are have to go through the same intense pain, as is the son of the staff member in question. "

Heartache is pretty easy to deal with when you make 400,000. At least they don't have to worry about mortgage payments or health insurance. Can all the employees forced out say the same thing? Where is your pity for them? And to even mention the victim in this sentence is an insult to him.


"8. I remember reading a book by Max Lacado where he writes of Grace and the salvation of serial killer Jeffery Dalmer....Grace means that all of us our vile sinners, who can be cleansed by the blood of Jesus! And as far as the east is from the west our God remembers our iniquity no more! Praise His Holy Name!"

Ah, now we get to the heart of it. Max Lucado sold out to the marketers of Jesus long ago. Pastor do you not know that God hates wicked men? See Psalms 5. Why does He tell us in His Word several times that He 'hated' Esau? You can read all about God's wrath in the OT. Perhaps you are an NT only pastor?

For God to love He has to hate. Wrath is just another word for hate. He is the Judge. And Judges have to Judge. That is the legal Justification. He became sin so we could be saved. There was no other way. We all deserve Hell. However, what you wrote above is an insult to His Holy Word.

We cannot walk in darkness and be saved. We cannot continously sin as a way of life and be saved. We are fooling ourselves if we believe it is that easy. Read 1 John and Hebrews 10&12.

We do not know who will be saved in the end. But we can sure know fruitfulness here and now.

Please stop teaching your pop Theology! Please, I beg you. I get very upset when the gospel is mangled beyond recognition.

"9. That said, ministers are and should be held to a higher standard."

Scriptures outline those standards for shepherds/elders/deacons.

"10. Bellevue needs to be broken, needs to repent, needs to call a Solemn Assembly, and the leadership needs, a a business meeting to answer the legitimate questions that God's people have."

Hearts need to change. People need to be saved! People who are walking in the light do not do these things! yes, that is judgemental! IT IS TRUTH. The leaders have ignored scripture from day one.

"It's been said, "Peace is such a wonderful thing, I would trade almost anything in the world for it....except the truth"."

You know Pastor, sometimes the truth is negative. Sometimes it is ugly. Our post modern church cannot handle that. They go around saying God is Love. God is Love. Where is that in scripture? It is said that God is HOLY. God IS HOLY!!!!! And we DARE not treat His Word in such a cavelier manner! Grace abounds but repentence and walking in the light is necessary for salvation. There is NO cheap grace. There is NO easy believism. The road is narrow. We must deny ourselves. He must increase, we must decrease. All of this in there. We just like to read the good parts and ignore the hard parts. (Like I did for years)

"God is in control, and I am praying for Bellevue, and for you and for Dr. Gaines, and that Bellevue would continue to be brought to her knees, for the purpose to look up, to the Author and Finisher of our Faith! "

Pastor, He who starts a good work will finish it. And as Hebrews 12 points out, He will not let HIS run too far away before HE brings them back.

And yes, I am very angry when it comes to scripture. we are leading people astray with fantasies that are NOT in scripture. Don't we love people enough to want to keep them from eternal hell?

Anonymous said...

"lindon wrote: "I wonder why theBody of Christ has a confidential memo in the first place. That information should be available to the Body...to the world. What have we to hide as Christians?"

Well we are instructed to hide the Word of God in our hearts.

And you missed the point entirely...now, "

So did you, my friend. Anyone in the Body should be able to go to the office and ask to see the books. (not tithing) Can you do this tomorrow? Will they hand you what you want?

If you want to shepherd your child ...teach him that Christians and the Body of Christ are transparent.

I believe the person holding the document should post it on the web in a PDF. I can understand that they may fear retaliation from the leaders.

ezekiel said...

lindon,

Amen Brother!

allofgrace said...

jmo,
It would appear from the posts on that subject, that ace, as well as swtt has that information...swtt also told where that information could be obtained, so I think it would be safe to say that at the least the information MIGHT not be confidential?..tell your young adult to rest easy till it's proven that a trust has been violated and confidential information was released improperly.

Hecanhear said...

Dear Sister Pam,

You just can not believe how much you bless me each time I read somehing you have written. You are so loving and honest with yourself and the LORD. Please continue to write and please continue to bless me and surely many more who read your words of grace.

God Bless You - Thank you for who you are in our LORD.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

Just catching up on the thread and I cannot believe the Deacon's letter.

Most of you ignore my comments, which is fine--there's a lot of looking down noses at one another here anyway, so as a professing born-again pagan, I'm not looking for any respect; nor am I just slowing down and craning my neck to see the car wreck either--if that's what is thought.

My interest foremost is to see a resolution for my fragile mom's sake and other friends freaked out by this. If you think this is just a Bellevue problem--that it doesn't affect those on the outside, family and friends; that the fate of the flagship Baptist church of Memphis doesn't tug on the hearts of the Christian community at large--then Bible verses won't help you. This became a civil issue once crimes were commited, especially those involving children, so get over being exclusive.

I also went through a spiritual crisis in the Buddhist community a number of years ago, a witness to lives and Sangha fellowships (like church) broken because of a sex scandal involving an esteemed leader.

Of course, I observed the very same pattern of sycophancy, the quoting of scriptures, the muddling of issues with pursed-lip religion-speak and the unraveling conjectures that spread amongst the refugees.

Eventually, the dissidents were dissed and many of us had to rely on solitary practice for quite some time. So too, the aquiesent Sanga imploaded under the leadership of this "teacher," which is what will happen to Bellevue if Gaines stays.

Like I said before, embrace your faith, especially when the crap is hitting the fan (ok, moderator?), but don't be drawn into a snakepit, because that is where this is going. In my opinion, Bellevue, as it has been known, is forever lost, but please don't, real Christians (in both camps), make this a long a bitter divorce for the benefit of everyone.

And pardon me if I am in conflict with the Holy Writ, but discourse is the most civil form of conflict resolution as yet discovered; so when some barker tells you that it is a sin to engage thereof, that's a sure sign he or she doesn't have an argument and they should be excommunicated. OK, just kidding about that last part-tehe.

allofgrace said...

trollcates,
actually i've read all your posts...i find your mastery of the language intriguing, you seem to have a lot of insight..but as a Christian (you know this of course) I'm compelled to tell you that Buddha is dead...and is going to stay dead...he can't redeem you or give you eternal life..Jesus Christ on the other hand died and is risen and ascended...able to save to the uttermost them that believe on Him. Hope you'll think on those things...thanks for your insight.

MOM4 said...

I may have missed a post here, but have ya'll seen the media release on the original post for his thread or www.bellevue.org?
I just wondered about the legal team that was representing the church's interests in the DPS investigation. Any one know who they are?

MOM4 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

AllofGrace,

Thank you for your compassion, yet I know the drill. The problem with the Buddha is dead thing is that it defines Buddhism by the philosophical basis of Christianity; and that, futhermore, is the problem of gleaning info about Buddhism from a Christian.

On a very elemental level, they are different.

allofgrace said...

trollcates,
I understand..I know you're a "recovering Southern Baptist", hence the (you know this of course)...but I would ask you to seek the triune God in the scriptures for yourself..outside the framework of the SBC..not trying to harangue you...anyway...I like the flow of your logic.

Anonymous said...

trollcates,
I am pretty much a "lurker" around this neighborhood. I am originally from Bartlett, but have lived in Thailand now for about one year. I am in a very unique vocation over here as a Christian. I really want to understand Buddhism as I have coworkers who are Buddhist and also work with others in the community in government who are Buddhist. Are there basic primers to help me get a rudimentary understanding of Buddhism to assist me as I interact with these friends?

allofgrace said...

kingdomrevolution,
How's things in Thailand?...still haven't listened to the sermon yet...I will this weekend as I wind down.

Diana Hart said...

Amen to bin wondering, lindon, and as always to AOG!

I think bin got to the heart of the matter.

Diana

Anonymous said...

AOG,
Things are hot here!! We had our "winter" for about two weeks (winter here means it got to 65 at night), but when that tropical sun comes up any chance over comfort is over for a Tennessee boy.

I have an interesting situation coming up next week. We are having a leaders's retreat up in the mountains for leaders in our organization from all over the world. I just found out that the two folks leading the retreat are from Rob Bell's church. (Ok, everyone, I don't need any comments are warnings, I am at least as versed in the emergent, mamby-pamby religion of relativism as anyone here). So, it should be an interesting week. I guess I will take along my Piper, Spurgeon, and Ravenhill books and read my Churchill biography I have been wanting to read. So as to redeem the time.

allofgrace said...

hello there lady Di

MOM4 said...

Bible-in-a-year said...

note we now have politically correct names for the two opposing groups:

Pro-Gaines
Pro-Bellevue

Is that fair to everyone?

I am sorry if my post offended you or anyone else, I borrowed those names from some previous posts.

The point I was trying to make was that, regardless of which "side" you were labeled, virtually all of the memberhip basically would agree on the suggestions laid out by 25+.

I will not use those names again. Sorry

allofgrace said...

kingdomrevolution,
LOL...Piper and Spurgeon...can't go wrong there.

65 at night?...that's some winter.

Anonymous said...

Lindon,

Thank you and Amen!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, really cold. It is humorous to see the Thai people dressed up in coats, gloves, scarves and knit caps.

I am still daily praying for all of you as you seek resolution to this situation. I guess next week if the report comes out will be a watershed.

Anonymous said...

Ya Kingdom,

Buddhism is as varied as are sects of Christianity, partly because, throughout the ages, it moved from place to place, the become isolalated, transmogrify with local culture and customs. The historical buddha wrote no teachings, was disinterested in fame, and his immediate students transcribed from memory.

The best book on the core beliefs of Buddhists is called, quite simply, What the Buddha Taught; the author's name escapes me because it is strange. Rahula? Anyway, that should be enough to locate it.

Anonymous said...

Can I say something here ? It is a shame people are gloating on this "moral failure" issue. Some of you people : you know who you are. Will fault SG not matter what he does. I don't believe SG is any worse than any of the rest of us. In fact, I'm sure he has a lot more favor with the Lord than I do.

I just happen to think he makes some boneheaded decisions. To me, that is reason to question his leadership ability. If were to give him any advice, I would say face this problem head on and give anybody that has a quarrel the opportunity to address it. But then again, if it is about the purchase of some expensive shoes that would be low on my priority list too.

So go ahead, throw your scriptures at me you scripture chunkers. I got my love vest on.

Have a great day and I love ya brutha : )

Anonymous said...

Lindon,

I am also of the opinion that Steve Gaines should move on because he has failed to lead, Biblically or otherwise. But what about after he's gone? Your heart, and that of others like you, seems so full of self righteous pride that you are unable to take even a moment on this blog to humble yourself before Jesus.

Exposing the truth about this whole situation is gut-wrenching and sorrowful business but you appear to take great pleasure in it, so much so that you attack anything that smacks of moderation. I think BF was right on in his assessment. You seem to be attacking his ideas because they give the benefit of the doubt where it is certainly warranted.

Many will think you a hero for your rhetoric. I do not. The call is to be broken before the Lord. Do you hear it?

TS

Diana Hart said...

AOG,

I only have one thing to say to you but since I'm not allowed to utter that word on this blog I will say this instead.....peanut butter fudge!!!! Can you believe I'm still eating my mom's fudge? It keeps well in the fridge.

Di

Anonymous said...

trollcates,

I guess you are off, but if you come back and see this, I am serious about wanting to understand better what I can of Buddhism, mainly because of the way it affects their culture. I have found it hard to understand because the asian mind and thinking is SO different than us - not worse, just so different.

I am in constant contact with Buddhists and want to understand their mindset. When I see all the "spirit houses" , the wats, the rituals, it is all totally lost on me and I want to build better relationships.

Anonymous said...

Thanks trollcates,

Looks like we passed in the dark. I have found that out. If the Buddha is a different person - whether from Burma, China, etc.

But, mainly I am looking for a way to relate because of the way it permeates the culture.

I know this is all totally off topic and I won't post anymore about that, so thanks

allofgrace said...

backrow,
I agree...it's never something to gloat over..I've seen a few leaders go down that way, and it's always gut-wrenching...but don't assume that everyone is gloating...and for myself...no plans to chunk scripture at you...love you too brutha.

Diana Hart said...

TS,

What in this world are you talking about? I have never seen Lindon act the way you are accusing her of acting. However I did miss the exchange with BF so maybe I'm clueless here.

Backrowbaptist,

Shoes are not the point here, nor have they ever been the point. The point is that according to the IRS (someone please correct me if that is wrong) a church is not supposed to be comingling funds. This means you are not to buy anything with a credit card that isn't going straight to the church. If you are buying yourself a pair of shoes or whatever, you are supposed to pay for it with your own card, check, or cash. It has nothing to do with shoes!!!!!

allofgrace said...

truthsleuth,
There will be life after this...and yes, we should think about that. I think brokenness is a gift..much like repentance...and should be prayed for and sought after.

allofgrace said...

Di,
It's cruel to tell me about peanut butter fudge when I don't have any.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy,

Now I'm going to get less respect than Ace or 5454.

Anonymous said...

Now I'm going to get less respect than Ace or 5454.

;-)

Diana Hart said...

AOG,

I tried to invite myself over to eat leftovers and you would have none of it. So don't be (can we still say complaining here?) complaining about the lack of fudge. Hubby and I would have been glad to share with you.

Di

Anonymous said...

Is that based on something I said?

allofgrace said...

trollcates,
Why so?

ilovebbc said...

To Mom4,

The politically correct names you mentioned aren't fair to everyone. I'm not pro-Gaines OR pro-Bellvue - I'm pro-Gaines AND pro-Bellevue.

Anonymous said...

I want some fudge.

allofgrace said...

Di,
LOL...ok you got me.

Anonymous said...

allofgracebecauseunlikeyousomefolkshavenograce

Wheresmyspaces?

Diana Hart said...

I just reread Lindon's post and what I liked most about it was the very last sentences about being angry at those who are leading people astray with fantasies that are not in scripture. I totally agree with that Lindon and I'm angry as well! Unfortunately it seems like every single day one of our "evangelical leaders" is being led astray by the contemplative prayer movement. Every day I get an email alert about another trusted leader hopping on that bandwagon. It is beyond me how so many can be so blind to what it really is. Thanks again for your comments.

Diana

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,
Integrity is Integrity. Truth is Truth. The pastor of any size church should uphold himself to the highest standard, so the sheep can follow. Sheep do follow (according to God's word). Many of you are comparing SG with any ordinary man. God ordained his pastors to be extraordinary, a shepherd of the sheep...the one who specializes in finding a lost sheep or rescuing a separated sheep. He is the one who knows how to keep us from falling in a ditch or coasting as a run-away-train. He is most accountable and should want to be transparent. Please study up on what a pastor is. He is a leader, a teacher, an ordained man of God in the center of God's will. On the otherhand, many of you are comparing SG to Jesus. I am sure you don't mean it that way, but please be careful with your posts. All we need is pastor and flock according to God's word.
I stand behind Lindon, still.

allofgrace said...

trollcates,
Well, for the record..I respect you as a human being, and admire your obvious intellect and ability to see the whole picture.

MOM4 said...

back row,
I appreciated your post. I agree that there are a lot more issues that need to be resolved other than a pair of shoes. That issue, btw, was not over the shoes or how much they cost, but the fact that he tried to charge them on a church credit card, which is illegal (IRS 501(c)(3)). For the record, I could care less about the man's shoes, suits or shirts, but I do care about integrity and character in our leadership which are the issues here. I also know that we all have just about had it with those who have not been keeping up with the issues and decide to read one thread then jump in and criticize our efforts. I am not attempting to discredit your post, but there are those that most certainly do delight in posting on this blog in an argumentative and distasteful manner which only leads to strife.

I would have left Bellevue after the Sept 24th event, but the Lord has not given me permission to do so. I have no reason to feel that I should be the one to leave over someone elses sins. I have enough of my own to confess on a daily basis, but I am not the God ordained shepherd of a large flock. That calling leads to a higher degree of accountability. Steve Gaines has been placed over Bellevue Baptist Church as her chief shepherd under Jesus Christ. It is his responsibility to protect her from division and scandal, not cause it.
Please go back on these threads and posts and glean those things which are true before you make any decisions regarding the worthiness of our efforts.
And by the way, gotta love that vest!

Diana Hart said...

Mom4,

Are you still around? We are going to Branson to the WVW. If you are really interested in going, let me know! I think we are going to go a few days early so we can take in some commercialism (oops, I meant some shows.)

Ace,

I still have some left. Feel free to come over for a visit!!! We won't even call you names or anything.

Diana

Anonymous said...

Well, I've never led prayer on a blog before, but TS suggested it ... and I think it's a marvelous suggestion. Here goes ...

Dear Holy Father in Heaven,

We come before you as a broken people. We are your church, redeemed by the blood of your precious Son ... but we are hurting right now for so many reasons, not the least of which is that our washed-clean garments have stains all over them. We rest in the assurance that when you look at the mess we have become, you see us through the blood of Jesus -- and His righteousness transforms those sullied garments into pure, white wool before your eyes. Thank you, dear Father, for your perfect love for us and for your forgiveness of our sin.

Lord, we pray that you would watch over our beloved congregation. We know that you love us so much more than we love each other. You sent your Son to die for us, but many of us have so much trouble just dying to our pride and our own desires. Help us, dear Father. Strengthen our faith. Gently make us fix our eyes on you, Lord. Please give us grace and courage, that we may do and think and walk in harmony with your Word and your perfect will.

We pray that you will forgive our spirit of contention, Holy Father. We know how displeasing it is in your eyes.

We pray that you would honor our individual and collective desire for truth -- not a preconceived notion of truth, but your truth. Help us to fix our minds on you and open our hearts to your Spirit. Give us the courage to accept truth, even if it is in conflict with our own reality.

Help us, dear Lord, to have faith in no one but you.

Help us to love each other selflessly and without apology. Help us to destroy our records of wrong against one another.

Bless our leadership, dear Father. Bless our pastor and his family, our ministerial staff and their families, our committee leaders and their families, our Sunday School teachers and their families. Lord, fill them anew with your Holy Spirit and help them to act with wisdom, honor, and compassion.

We pray a special blessing, dear Lord, on those who work with and watch over the hearts and precious lives of our children. Give them a special touch of your grace, we pray.

Watch over and heal those, Lord, who have been hurt within our fellowship over the last several months. Forgive our tendency to rehash and revisit things that have been confessed and forgiven by you, and help us to press on toward the mark that you have established for us -- to become more like Jesus every day until we finally see Him face to face. Reach into our hurting hearts with the power of your grace and heal our hurts as only you can.

Help us, dear Father, to move forward on our knees and in your love.

Help us to honor you in the things we say and do, not only in our daily walk at work, or school, or in our families -- but specifically, Lord, on this blog and in the media and before a lost and dying world.

Thank you, Holy Lord, for your presence, your guidance, and the strength that comes only from you. We love you. We long to love you more.

In Jesus name, Amen.

Anonymous said...

Thank you MJM...

MOM4 said...

ilovebbc said...
To Mom4,

The politically correct names you mentioned aren't fair to everyone. I'm not pro-Gaines OR pro-Bellvue - I'm pro-Gaines AND pro-Bellevue.

8:40 PM, January 12, 2007

That, sir, is an oxymoron:)

MOM4 said...

Diana,
Can't break away for Branson, but sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for the invite though! Drop me an email sometime.

Anonymous said...

All of Grace,

I realized after I sent my email to you the other day, that my signature was included. Did you happen to go to my organization's website to see the work we do?

Since the conversation is a little quiet right now, thought I would just ask.

Anonymous said...

Dear Heavenly Father,
We love you and praise your name. We come before you confessing our many failings, mistakes and sins. You've told us that if are faithful to confess our sins that you will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness...Thank you for the privilege to be called by your name and thank you for loving us enough to send your Son to die. We pray for our dear church, Father, that you would bless her and keep her to do your work. We pray for our deacons who are meeting even now that you would give them wisdom and understanding for you have said it is ours just for the asking. We pray for the pastor and staff as we pray for ourselves that we might be broken and emptied out before you so that whatever you may choose to use us for will bring glory to you and only you. Give us grace enough to pass on to one another that we might demonstrate your love in our love for others.

Keep us humble an clean before you--heal our hearts and our church, I pray in the sweet name of Jesus. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Lindon,

My tone was harsh and judgmental. Please accept my apology.

TS

Anonymous said...

Bible-in-a-year said...
Tim, BePatient...


I will see if I can create a blog where you are the only two allowed to post. You will be the representatives for the pro-Gaines and pro-BBC groups.

Then you can work together on your versions of the list on the same site.

(offline)

4:58 PM, January 12, 2007


I've created the blog... "Blank sheets of Paper". It's in my profile.


(offline)

Diana Hart said...

Mom4,

Email has been dropped. I have to get off this computer now. Blessings to all of you!!!

Ace,

Did you leave the building after I invited you over?

AOG,

You have mail as well. nighty night

Di

Anonymous said...

MJM and TS:
Thank you for praying for us. Everyone, please
Check this to Pray for Pastor.

Anonymous said...

Kingdom, you know how all the preachers say, "well we've got some doctrinal disputes with the church across the street, but what we all agree on is that Jesus is Lord, born of a virgin..." etc.

What the Buddha Taught is a good objective primer(written from an academic, as opposed to devotee's, perspective) for that core philosophy. Unfortunately, I don't know much about Thai Buddhism in terms of its rituals, since I follow a Tibetan path.

Just attend one with someone who may help you. My experience is that Vietnamese and Tibetans love to introduce their customs to westerners, and I bet the Thai do likewise.

Anonymous said...

sorry i got hung up in the internets.

Anonymous said...

(birds chirping)

I sure can clear a room.

Oh well, I'll step outside.

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

Integrity is Integrity. Truth is Truth. The pastor of any size church should uphold himself to the highest standard, so the sheep can follow. Sheep do follow (according to God's word).

Many of you are comparing SG with any ordinary man. God ordains His pastors to be extraordinary, a shepherd of the sheep...the one who specializes in finding a lost sheep or rescuing a separated sheep. The shepherd is the one who knows how to keep us from falling in a ditch or coasting as a run-away-train.

He is most accountable and should want to be transparent. Please study up (in God's word) the role of the pastor. He is a leader, a teacher, an ordained man of God in the center of God's will.

On the otherhand, many of you are comparing SG to Jesus. I am sure you do not mean it that way, but please be careful with your posts. All we need to have and be is a pastor and a flock according to God's precious, word.

I stand behind Lindon, still.

Anonymous said...

Thanks trollcates,

I had to step away for just a minute. It is Saturday morning here and I have family visiting. We are going to take them up to a beautiful wat on top of a mountain that has a maginificent view of the valley where I live here.

Thank you for responding to another "recovering Southern Baptist (even Landmark for those who know what that is).

I hope I can keep a dialogue with you to help me. And, yes, the Thai are very willing to share (though many of them are like many Christians and claim to hold to something that they really don't believe or practice).

Blessings to you

Anonymous said...

Trollcates and Kingdom...hey, no offense...but it's hard enough to discuss problems among Christians
(yes, I do believe that we are all Christians here. Disagree on a few points, yet all Christians)but please, if you want to discuss Buddha, take it to e-mails between yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Same to you, my friend.

allofgrace said...

kingdomrevolution,
If you're still around, I haven't visited there...I didn't think to do that...so thanks for reminding me...I'll be catching up on some reading, emails, etc over the weekend, so I'll check it out then.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry Byebell, I didn't know you were the moderator now. Everytime I post, it is always on topic, yet the primary response I recieve is getting witnessed to, and I kindly decline and restate my reason for being here, which is legitimate.

Now I answer a question specifically to a nice Christian living in a Buddhist country wanting to inform themselves, and you're going to get cross.

Holy cow.

AllofGrace, that's what I meant. I'm so glad I don't have to go to church.

Tim said...

Two items of signifigance that were pointed out in the Interim Report.

One that there is a DCS investigation. I suppose that from the blog report Jamie Fish must have been unaware of this, which is really quite surprising. It is my understanding that he would be one of the people that the DCS investigators would be most interested in talking with.

The other point of interest would be over what cooperation is. It seems like we well be heading into a discusion over what "is" is. Cooperation appears to be through legal council.

Anonymous said...

To All,

You cannot see the tears on my keyboard. Believe me when I tell you I was up to my neck in false teaching, pop theology, GCM, PDL, seeker junk. I helped to promote false teaching! God have mercy on me. There is no one on this board more depraved than me. Believe me, I thought I was saved. I wasn't. I was all caught up in the GCM strategies and the 'God loves you', positive only, Tony Robbins school of theology. And, I thank God that Jesus did NOT come back during those blind days. I was dangling over the pit of hell.

The post modern church has made it a sin to speak truths that hurt and pierce the heart. Those truths hurt me! Those truths of the Word FINALLY pierced my heart and brought me to my knees in shame. I struggle with walking in the light everyday. It is not called the Sword of Truth for nothing. Jesus said He did not come to bring peace. He will divide families! Why is it we have such a hard time believing the Word?

Don't get me wrong. God does love us. How can we not see that? He became SIN so we would not have to be cast into hell where we all belong. He did that for us. It was not the beatings. The spikes in his hands or the crown of thorns that saved us, folks. It was the fact that God poured out HIS WRATH on HIS OWN SON for us! "It is FINISHED"! He was speaking of the WRATH HE endured for us. God left HIM.

None of us have felt the full force of God's Wrath.

But, I would be remiss, if I did not state that the WRATH that Jesus took on for us, is waiting for all of us if we do not repent and walk in the light. Yes, Jesus loves you but He is coming back with the Sword of Truth in His Mouth.

Folks, this is the part we leave out. Is this right? Is it fair to those we are to love to leave this out?

Someone please show me in scripture where Jesus or any disciple preaches by saying the words, Jesus loves you, why don't you accept him today?

They preached repentence. You know what the difference is? Those they were preaching to understood the law. They knew! We don't. We don't know because preachers teach easy forgiveness. Say a prayer, get baptized and presto, you are going to heaven. Oh, and they do throw in some discipleship now and then or a 'what we believe' class.

There IS forgiveness of sins. But I warn everyone here to read Hebrews 10 very carefully. If we know the truth but willfully sin, we are not saved. Keep in mind, we are talking willfully sinning...and continuous walking in darkness. There is not such thing as sinless perfection. The difference is willfully and continually sinning. Does that scare you? It certainly scares me.

But, when I finally understood what happened on that cross, I was stunned. Is that not the greatest love story you have ever heard? But we cannot understand that love story without understanding the WRATH.

You know, God is so Holy that I even hesitate to His Name sometimes. Will I not give that Name it's due? Will I belittle it in some way?

When the angel of God came to Isaiah...Isaiah said, 'I am undone'. Think of every prophet that had a word from God. They fell on their faces! The gospel is not something to trifle with. I fear for us all. I mean that.

Brothers and sisters, I know I sound like a wacko nutcase. I simply do not care anymore. I am a fool for Christ. Our pastors are guilty of not teaching the full uncompromised gospel in this country. And so am I. If we love, we will tell the truth.

If we love...we will hate sin no matter where it comes from. We will hate what God hates.

I Love each one of you. Even the ones I disagree with. Even you, 4545. :o)

Truthsleuth, thank you for asking for me to forgive you. Absolutely. Yes! Yes!

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