Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Code of Silence

From StopBaptistPredators.org comes this interesting article about the failure on the part of the leadership of First Baptist Atlanta to inform the congregation that a prior children's minister who had worked at their church for 19 years had sexually abused children while on staff at at least one Texas church. While there is no evidence that anyone at FBCA knew about this man's past while he was on staff, the question is, why didn't they inform the congregation once they did know? Imagine how many children this man was in contact with during those 19 years!

Yet when three representatives of S.N.A.P. tried to pass out flyers to congregants leaving the Atlanta church one Sunday, security guards tried to run them off. It's not known how much of a background check, if any, the staff of FBCA did on Tommy Gilmore before hiring him, but with the "code of silence" so prevalent in the SBC and other denominations, it's doubtful a routine background check would have turned up anything. But people in Texas knew. Yet they said nothing.

Read more about Tommy Gilmore and his trail of victims
here.

623 comments:

1 – 200 of 623   Newer›   Newest»
New BBC Open Forum said...

I told "gmommy" she could have the honor of posting the first comment on this thread. She's out right now, so...

gmommy wrote:

If I have all my facts straight.... makes sense now why MD is now part of the Charles Stanley staff.

Just as we had sin in the camp for so long at BBC.... and the staff sexual predator was in charge of praying for the pulpit committee that hired SG.....

FBC Atlanta had a sexual predator on staff for many years as well.....I am hoping his secret sin WAS a secret to those at the church. Hoping even more that they didn't find out and KEEP him there.

BUT....with sin in the camp undetected....MD will fit right in. Hope no one shares any dreams with him!!

imaresistor said...

I think FBCA has a 'No Dreams Allowed Policy' (only teasing)

Anyway...on to more serious matters.

I posted this to the last thread, but thought it worthy enough to continue onto this one in the hope that many will watch this video, or listen to the CD. It appeared today on Slice of Laodicea. Do yourself the honor of watching

God Takes Care of Those Who Cannot Take Care of Themselves by Pastor/Teacher Jeff Noblit

New BBC Open Forum said...

gmommy wrote:

"I am hoping his secret sin WAS a secret to those at the church. Hoping even more that they didn't find out and KEEP him there."

I agree, but there's no evidence they did. The problem is keeping it a secret now that they do know. Gilmore has been gone from FBCA for over five years, but one can only wonder if he left behind any victims. Don't the members of FBCA have a right to know about this man's past? They entrusted their children to this man's oversight for 19 years!

Just as PW was in a position where he was in contact with the children of BBC for 17 years, no one (well, almost no one) is criticizing the leadership for not knowing during that time, but when people (SG, JF, and others) learned about it, THEN was the time to take action, not over six months later.

New BBC Open Forum said...

BBC had the dishonor of being featured on that site, too.

MOM4 said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
BBC had the dishonor of being featured on that site, too.

4:57 PM, July 25, 2007

I went to the websites and read everything in it's entirety, including Dr Mike Pruitt's letter. In that letter he calls for the deacons to take up arms so to speak and invoke Matthew 18 against the "slanderers" of his beloved pastor. I noticed that no one has acted upon his call to action, I wonder why?

New BBC Open Forum said...

The reports.

gmommy said...

mom4,
I went back and read the good deacon's letter also......

odd that "sexually immoral and greedy" were mentioned BEFORE slandereous

BUT it was OK for SG to keep a minister that was definitely sexually immoral on staff...
no one could exercise Matt 18 for that part of the scripture...

nor were we suppose to think badly of PW....after all PW was a victim himself.

but the deacon actually wanted to bring church discipline against MS for making a statement concerning SIN based on the same verse??????

Kwowing the sense of humor and great mind of MS.....
after he got over the shock of this "thinking"
I bet he laughed.

sometimes...that's all we can do at such double minded people.



wow...and I thought I was confused.

gmommy said...

I asked one of our blog friends who is a CPA...
reads...doesn't post...
about the audit papers....
he didn't see anything that would indicate the papers were false.

Wouldn't we love to see audit papers like that on the bank records of BBC!

Christa Brown said...

I hope there are some people in Atlanta who follow this much-read blog, and I bet there are. I stayed awake countless nights trying to figure out how to inform people in Atlanta. As a mom myself, I know that if I were a parent at FBC-Atlanta, I would want to know. I feel like I owe that, one mom to another. And yet, strangely, I could never find any church or denominational leaders who seemed to feel any obligation at all or who acted like it was a matter of any consequence. To the contrary, they seemed to be operating based on a "code of silence."

You - you right here on this blog -new BBC, gmommy and others - you have now shown more courage and more care and have done more than ANY church or denominational leader that I encountered. My hat's off to you! And I thank you.

I've never been to Memphis, and yet somehow I feel united with you there. You are often in my thoughts. As you point out, there is also a page on my site about Bellevue, but I hope you will see it as my attempt to join in solidarity with you, and to honor your struggle for truth, transparency and accountability.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Good to hear from you, Christa! What I meant by "dishonor" was that it's a shame this thing had to make the national headlines. The fact that you chose to feature it on your site is a good thing, and I thank you. May we never forget!

gmommy said...

Cakes,
I saw what someone wrote to you on the other blog.
You have friends here...including myself ...that would never sell you down the river (or whatever that saying is) AND I sure Would hang out with you in real life!

Don't want to go anywhere smoke or pool tables are:) but you sure are welcome at my house!

I'll feed you chocolate cake (the only thing I cook well)!!

Sorry.....
she has no idea we HAVE hung out together.....and will again!!!

New BBC Open Forum said...

gmommy,

I'm with you on the smoke, but I like pool! "Cakes" is such a great bowler, too!

You know, I'd like to see just one example of anyone here ever saying they'd not hang out with him in "real" life because I've never heard anyone here say anything resembling that. We may not all like to hang out at all the same places, but that's a far cry from saying you wouldn't hang out with someone anywhere. I already know "cakes" and I would disagree on a number of subjects, not the least of which is politics, but so what? We can discuss our differences and embrace what we have in common, and unlike some people, "cakes" has never been disagreeable. I hope we've extended you the same courtesy, "cakes."

Oh, by the way, a number of us, including "cakes," have already hung out in "real" life, and I hope we will again. From what I could tell, a very good time was had by all!

gmommy said...

Christa,
MOST of the regulars on this blog...
some that don't actually post but read....
are absolutely behind you 100%!!! We appreciate the courage you display day after day. We want to do all we can to shine light into the darknss of sexual abuse!

Sad to see that, for the most part, the SBC would like to keep the sexual predators cloaked as ministers
a secret from the world....and even other Baptist churches! !

It seems the sacrifice of the innocent and the wounded isn't as important as the sacrifice the leaders of the SBC would have to make to protect the vulnerable.

We want to be an encouragement to you!!And to pray for your protection and strength!

WaterGate said...

Facts on Claude Thomas:

Current man preaching at GBC.

Friend of Bob Srrell.

In Sept, 2004 an Independent Audit happened at First Baptist Church Euless, Texas and Claude T. was the former Pastor.

Facts of the audit reveal a major integrity problem.

Question:

Where is Bob S. audit?

Bob, do you think C. T. would have told you the audit was true.

Come on Bob!!!!!!!

WaterGate said...

I would like to know what part of the audit is wrong and what or who are Bob Sorrell's sources?

Has Bob even called First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas or even any of the auditors involved.

How can Bob know more than auditors??

Is this really a pride problem???

Hum..

concernedSBCer said...

You know, I disagree with my son on about everything...religion, politics, you name it....except guess what? I still love him! And there is some common ground....

Yes, everyone remember the upcoming bowling competition! Cakes, you're in, right????

concernedSBCer said...

Watergate: You bring up interesting questions. I would think calling the previous church would be a great idea. I wonder who might have called the church? Were they forthcoming or did they clam up? I sure would like to know. But no matter how you slice it, that Auditor report has to be taken seriously.

Junkster said...

From the link to info on Gilmore's trail of victims (provided on the post for this thread):

Another Southern Baptist minister made a sworn statement attesting to his long-standing knowledge of minister Gilmore’s sexual abuse of a kid and to the fact that he told Gilmore he would tell the whole church about it unless Gilmore left.

What is it with these guys who give sex abusers the opportunity to quietly leave and take another ministry position elsewhere? How do they sleep knowing they have just foisted a problem off onto some other congregation?

concernedSBCer said...

THANK YOU, JUNK! The million dollar question! That's why the SBC needs to forget the good ole boy network and protect the church members in ALL the churches. A database accessible to all search committees should do the trick......

gmommy said...

concerning the GBC Claude ordeal....

Why would BS put his reputation on the line for this guy????

Is that loyalty or arrogance?????

Why would GBC leadership rebuke the members who questioned the decision of BS???

How is BS handling this differently from the way things were dictated at BBC?.....
now the GBC members can't question authority????

After all the church has been thru
why would BS or any of the leadership cause anymore turmoil?

AND where are our GBC friends???
Are they forbidden to blog here now?

Was BS responsible for more damage to BBC than we realize....???

Just wondering...

New BBC Open Forum said...

concernedsbcer wrote:

"A database accessible to all search committees should do the trick......"

Not unless the search committees make use of it, it won't. At least one person went to BBC's search committee when they were considering Steve Gaines (I'm not sure they considered anyone else) and gave them names of people at Gardendale and West Jackson with whom they needed to talk to get the full story about SG. They reportedly refused. So a database or any information is only as good as the willingness of a search committee to make use of it.

concernedSBCer said...

Nass: Point made. However, if the data base is available, maybe many search committees are truly searching and it will a benefit.

gmommy said...

The data base won't do the trick....just one baby step.

And if it happens there will be so many stipulations that victims will be more afraid of being shamed by the church people than they are ashamed they fell victims to these predators.

The walking wounded who had "encounters" with PW and Gilmore will come out of the closets for years to come....some will suffer in silence
forever.
What has been done by BBC leadership for the victim of PW????

concernedSBCer said...

Hey, just found this online...lest there are those who doubt the importance of my job as watercooler talk coordinator....

"While wasting time, a worker may step away from a problem long enough to find a creative solution. Or perhaps that watercooler conversation leads to an impromptu strategy session between co-workers and leads to a new, more innovative approach to solving a challenging business problem."

C'mon Dr. Loney....I know my job and I can do it well! Don't quit now....with your 1978 Electra, you're bound to win some votes....

socwork said...

It's just appalling to me that background checks are not done at the very least on "ministers" who will be "ministering" to children, or even exposed to them.

As a social worker, I have been through so many criminal background checks, drug screens, etc. that it's just "standard procedure." I can expect that no matter where I work, if I will be in any capacity working with minors, I will have a background check done on me.

It's foolish and naive that church search committees give "ministers" the benefit of the doubt, as it were, instead of making it a standard part of the screening process to do a criminal background check. I know that criminal background checks alone won't solve this problem, but it would be a nice step in the right direction.

gmommy said...

I still have my membership .....do you think I could vote for Dr Loney before the macho security guy handcuffed me and yelled ugly words in my face???


BTW...
larry made the comment today that many are waiting for things to clear up then going back to BBC... (NOT a quote.)

I think most people are done with BBC.

gmommy said...

Socwork...you are so right!!!

socwork said...

gmommy,

thank you. :)

Cakes said...

Of course, I have nothing but the warmest regard for you'all, and look forward to seeing you again at the next bowling night. I just hope I don't break another stick on one of those giant cue balls.

We're all just human, warts and all, but I think some folks are near-sighted and perhap a little ego-driven, pointing fingers at the warts on others.

I caught that dig from bepatient too, but, bless her heart, mere loyalty to Gaines cannot be defended rationally, nor would she touch the essential points of my remarks, so she sinks to the poke in the eye--saying if I didn't cowtow to you guys, you'd turn on me. I think I've already voiced some differences here, but try not to be a jackass, and I think that is a distinction the banned do not fathom.

We are all different in our capacities and gifts, and I'm sure she makes great cakes too or is a defensive driver, or a good mom, etc., but substantive debate is not one of her strong suits.

I hope you can find compassion for these folks, because loyalty to a discredited and self-possessed Pastor, not to mention that the Bratton blog is teaming with the very invective and judgement that they accuse here, implies they are suffering too.

Pray for one another, exchange kindness for insult (even if you don't feel it) and watch the granite in folks hearts, here and there, crumble into dust and be replaced with the warmth and light of unconditional love.

I'm studying kung fu with a monk, and the basis of the form is softness of movement--one simply learns to direct the very force and power of the opponent by circular, relaxed and fluid motions--such that the momentum of the attack is diffused, rolling off of the body and, in fact, destablizing the attacker himself, not by generating force oneself.

Keep this analogy in mind when dealing with troublemakers.

concernedSBCer said...

Socwork: What does a background check show?

It sounds like it would be a huge step in the right directions.

allofgrace said...

I couldn't start nursing school without a criminal background check...it's becoming standard procedure for any institution which would place employees in close contact with even the general public, and especially children.

Christa Brown said...

Background checks are essential, but they aren't nearly enough - not even close. Over 800 Catholic priests have now been removed from ministry based on "credible accusations" of child sex abuse (as determined by lay review boards), but only about 3 percent of them have ever been criminally charged with anything, much less convicted. They are NOT on any sex offender registries. Just about a month ago, a clergy abuse case was reported in Pueblo, CO in which there were reportedly 40 known victims, and yet to this day, the priest has never been criminally prosecuted, and nor has he even had a successful civil suit brought against him. (The nature of the damage keeps victims quiet for too long and statutes of limitation are too short.)

The much-publicized, finally-convicted perpetrator at FBC-Greenwood was a Southern Baptist minister who had moved from Wisconsin to Kentucky to Missouri. You can read more about Greenwood here. At last report, 13 victims had spoken up. When the Missouri church hired him, they DID a background check. It showed nothing even though the guy was already under investigation by Kentucky police. But he hadn't been convicted of anything, and so nothing showed up....and of course, the Kentucky church followed the "code of silence"...with the result that more kids were hurt.

Because most active child molesters have never been convicted of anything, and because the typical pattern is for church leadership to stay silent, I believe there MUST be an outside resource for congregations and a place to which clergy abuse victims can make a report with a reasonable expectation of being compassionately heard by people with the appropriate training and expertise - i.e., a place outside the accused minister's circle of influence. Even if such a denominational review board had ZERO actual authority over local churches, it could still provide a valuable function in that it could at least make known its objective determination. It could simply assure that credible accusations would see the light of day. Conceivably, churches could still choose to keep their "credibly accused" ministers, but at least abuse victims would have the feeling of having been heard and congregations would have the opportunity to see the truth (even if they ultimately choose not to open their eyes). And a record would be kept that other churches could see as well.

socwork said...

Socwork: What does a background check show?

It sounds like it would be a huge step in the right directions.


Background checks would only show if there were any convictions/charges on a person's record. It would not show allegations, which is why I said I know this wouldn't by any means "solve" the problem, but it would be a good faith effort in the right direction.

Lin said...

"As a social worker, I have been through so many criminal background checks, drug screens, etc. that it's just "standard procedure." I can expect that no matter where I work, if I will be in any capacity working with minors, I will have a background check done on me. "

I am amazed the government has not stepped in up to this point, considering what happened with the Catholic church, etc. If Christians refuse to police themselves what other alternative is there?

But an even bigger problem is that the church protects the perp because victims don't report or the ADULTS keep silent. What can you do about that?

Then when it does come out years later, all you hear is: You are unforgiving. This misapplied reaction to a 'crime' sends a big message to the victims...and therefore the abuse continues and is hidden. It works! That is why they do it. When pastors are afraid of prison sentences, it will change.

Of course, if justice were served the abuser and those who protect them would be in jail. I believe that those who protect these abusers are self serving. In the case of a pastor, he probably thinks that knowledge of this would empty the pews, instead of a need for church discipline and repentance.

I am ashamed of the reaction of Charles Stanley's FB Atlanta to Christa Brown. Perhaps they did not know about the guy during those 19 years but they do now and the congregation has a right to know. If anything for accountability of who is hired in the future. But that would be giving up power for the leaders and we cannot have that!

So what is the answer? Don't assume you can trust anyone at church with your children. Don't assume that the pastor has the best interests of your child.

We saw this at BBC. Gaines 'said' he wanted to protect the pedophile's family. So even his excuse was wrong...he was more concerned about them than the children? It absolutely amazes me that he was willing to take the word of a pedophile minister whose whole life is a lie.

Unbelievable, huh?

Churchmouse said...

Who would go into a vulnerable church, a victorious but deeply wounded church, offer to help her as she healed, and then bring in a man with questionable ethics to fill the pulpit? Who would do such a thing? Why? Why cause these Christians, the walking wounded, further unrest?

Who is this man with the twinkley eyes and the warm smile -- always there with a greeting and a handshake? Who is this man that we loved and trusted all of those years at BBC and has gone to help our sister church? Who is he REALLY?

How did he help GBC? Who did he help? And why?

Why has he not lifted a finger to help BBC, but wants to help once the "problem people" are gone? Do we want his help?

The Light is shining in the dark places. It is painful to look there. It is VERY painful. But, we need to see the TRUTH.

LEFT BEHIND said...

Seems like the good folks in Texas had the same thoughts as some Gardendale folks. " Hush and let him go , a bigger church can take care of it"

sickofthelies said...

SIGH..

Where to begin?

I am sooo angry...

I'll start with Bob Sorrell...

WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH HIM?

Does he have some VESTED interest in getting CT jobs? Why is BS trying to rehabilitate CT's image, giving no thought to the accuracy of the audit report. BS reportedly bragged to the GBC congregation that when CT was being investigated, that he ( CT) kept silent, as IF that was a GOOD thing!!!!

HEY BS...what you want to bet that CT kept silent because his LAWYER told him to shut his piehole!!!!

I'm starting to see that BS is a common denominator at both GBC and BBC. ( no pun intended)

Now, on to the Atlanta story..what hurts me is that these men in charge do not seem to care if a child is harmed..they don't seem to think that a child being molested is as bad as a man's reputation being destroyed for molesting a child. Do they think that it's no big deal and that the child will just " get over it"?????

They OBVIOUSLY have CHOSEN to protect an adult man against innocent children. My heart hurts.

I even wonder if these harborers think that maybe the children have a roll to play in it...and that they are perfectly capable of telling them to quit, that is, IF they want to...........

I have a question for you moms out there that are still defending SG for what he did with PW...please answer this question honestly to yourself:

If SG had stood before the congregation in June of 06 and made this statement:

" It has been brought to my attention by PW that he molested his son for a 12-18 month period some 17 years ago, but because it's " under the blood" I am going to allow him to stay on staff and resume his regular duties. WE should all have compassion for PW."

HOw many of you would have shrugged your shoulders and said, " ok" ...and just let your kids go to SS alone, and you wouldn't have worried about their safety? How many of you would have allowed your children out of your sight, even your teenagers? How many of you with 3rd, 4th, 5th graders would have allowed them to go to the bathroom during SS if you were not with them? Would you have REALLY gone about your business as usual?

If you COULD go about your business as usual, then you are a poor excuse for a mother.

The TRUTH of the matter is that BECAUSE you didn't know, and YOUR ( emphasis on YOUR) child was not affected, then " its all good"...

To heck with any other child that might have been molested, because, after all, it wasn't YOUR ( emphasis on YOUR) child!!!

Are you SURE about that????

If you are ANY kind of mother AT ALL, you would have been UP IN ARMS!!!

But yet, you defend him, you urge the children at BBC, for whom SG granted no protection from a pedophile, to make him birthday cards...WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU????

DHS needs to be called on ANY mother who would not care that a pedophile was running loose around her kids, and did NOTHING to PROTECT HER CHILD!!!

THAT IS YOUR FIRST JOB!!!!!

You are going to have to answer for your defense of the evil man that enabled a pedophile among chldren...

gmommy said...

churchmouse,
I have post needing a little editing with the same thoughts....concerns....I just included the initials of this man we are thinking and concerned about.

Wasn't this same man on the pulpit committe of BBC?????

Where is the new caution after witnessing the damage?

Did this man open the door of BBC to Corporate America??????

Or would we be foolish after researching the SBC... with google alone....to see the decline of the SBC?????
What was BS's involvement in that process?

socwork said...

Here's a thought:

Maybe we just need to start listening to God's Word when we read things like this:

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Or this:

John 2:24
But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people

...instead of just assuming that because a person has joined a church, is working for a church, attends church, calls themselves "Christian," graduated from seminary, or any combination of the above, that they are "safe."

Churchmouse said...

gmommy,
This is all truly amazing! Who would ever have thought? Talk about a snow job. We weren't snowed, we were blizzarded -- and for a long time.

New BBC Open Forum said...

SOTL wrote:

"I'm starting to see that BS is a common denominator at both GBC and BBC."

I think that says it all.

concernedSBCer said...

Hi all! I'm taking my lunch break and reading the blog while I eat! (great multi-tasking, huh??)

Christa said: "The nature of the damage keeps victims quiet for too long and statutes of limitation are too short." Then the statutes need to be changed. What can we, the individual concerbed SBC members do? Write letter? Make phone calls? Please make any suggestions you can to help us hold these folks accountable within the denomination.

Churchmouse: Your post sure makes one stop and think. It seems like the slow-boil frog method was happening, doesn't it? This quote is especially thought-provoking:
"The Light is shining in the dark places. It is painful to look there. It is VERY painful. But, we need to see the TRUTH."
We need to pray that God will help us to see the dark places, even if it does hurt. We have to stay vigilant.

SOTL: AMEN! I can't imagine Moms not being up in arms. We are the last line of defense our children have.

GMommy said: "Did this man open the door of BBC to Corporate America??????" I have long believed this was a major problem in churches. Churches began to be run as businesses instead of God's ministry. This is not right.

Lin said: "So what is the answer? Don't assume you can trust anyone at church with your children. Don't assume that the pastor has the best interests of your child."
Isn't this so sad? I mean truly, heartbreakingly sad that men of God and servants of God can't be trusted.

Churchmouse said...

gmommy,

yup,
We used to marvel at how well our church kept down dissention and gossip. You never knew the details of anything -- we just heard whispers, suggestions with raised eyebrows, and maybe picked up on a nod. We thought someone was very skilled at keeping us focused.

Well, now...

I think we were all a bit naive. I wish it were not so.

We now have to get out of our comfort zone. We can no longer be pew potatoes, or we will be fried.

The Battle is ON!

concernedSBCer said...

It just occured to me....we're talking a Database or a background check would be a "start." Bologna. We don't need a start, we need a solution. Now. Before more kids pay with their innocence.

This is obviously an issues in all churches......as goes society, there also goes the church????

We are to be different, set apart.

imaresistor said...

This in purpose driven jargon is what is referred to as 'networking'. Remember the words, 'slow boil'. These guys have the patience of Job.

concernedSBCer said...

Socwork: Your 11:12 post was right on. A Sad, discouraging, pitiful statement of things, but right on.

imaresistor said...

It is all strategically planned out...

Been Redeemed said...

churchmouse said...
"
I think we were all a bit naive. I wish it were not so."

Naive is all too true and has evolved into paranoia in some cases- for me at least.

Someone told me yesterday that they were squirmish about "holding hands across the aisles" now. "You know, you just don't know who you are holding hands with!" she said. This particular person had been an associate of PW - made me want to go wash my hands.

We are still church hunting and I am very impressed with the new pastor of Ellendale Baptist sermons after listening online, but of course we/I don't know if they are PDL, Emerging Church or Church Growth Movement and I have heard they do the "hands across the aisle" after every service too and I am wondering what's up with that? Any one know?

David Brown said...

Dear Gang: NASS I am so thankful you are posting this thread. I know it is poplar yet it is so necessary.

With regards to the statutes, that is a very difficult thing to get accomplished. Ann Brentwood, Southeast Coordinator of SNAP spent many long hours and miles working with the various legislators the last few years in an attempt to get them changed. The big issue was the statute of limitations. We thought she had the battle won last year just before the vote. She left to head back to Maryville when one legislator blinked at the last second and had the bill changed to keep a limitation on the statute. We were crushed yet grateful they did expand it.

But we have only just begun. We WILL NOT give up.

Unfortunately it takes time. Too much time for many us.

Background checks may help but that is so small. Just look at Steve Haney. I am certain that he would have passed one. Remember that there was some concern about him about 10 years ago. Why didn’t those people call and report their suspicions? I bet they are sorry now. I met with the District Attorney a couple weeks ago and I asked him what the reporting requirements were if you suspect child abuse. He went and pulled the latest statutes and it is very clear: If you are aware or SUSPECT there might be child abuse, you must REPORT it. NO exceptions.

I wish people would quit erring on the side of the pedophiles. Let the people that are professionals do the investigations. Let them make the determination if there is abuse. Why are we so quick to doubt victims? I have had many people tell me that they just did not believe Steve Haney was a pedophile. That was when there was just the one allegation. Now that other victims are coming forward they suddenly go silent.

I am working with new victims every day. I just heard from one as I was typing this. It breaks my heart to hear their stories and about how afraid they would not be believed if they came forward. Most were ashamed. I am so grateful that NASS is not afraid to post a thread like this on the blog. I am really grateful for Christa, Ann, Anna, Mike, David C., Barbara B., Susan, Debbie V. and many others that do this. We certainly don’t do it for the pay, because there is none. We do it for the victims and in an attempt to save just one person from abuse. Please if you are a victim out there and you are not sure what to do, contact one of us. Help is there. You need to know you are not alone anymore.

David Brown
SNAP coordinator for Memphis and West Tennessee
davidbrown@bigriver.net
901/569-4500

New BBC Open Forum said...

Interesting updates on the Claude Thomas/GBC thing here.

New BBC Open Forum said...

BBC's 2006-07 "Annual Report" has been published, and David Coombs says a copy is available at the ERC desk for every BBC family. Get yours today!

concernedSBCer said...

"In stead of being grateful, a committee made up of about ten people, many on the pastor search committee, called each of these men in separately to reprimand them for undermining the Pastor Search Committee."

I see.....shot the messengers. Those men were trying to protect their church. I can't belive this.

If folks that are in leadership don't want to know the truth and don't want to at least verify warnings, that has to be a huge red flag in and of itself. Is this a pride issue again?

sickofthelies said...

I just listened to Kay Reed's speech on the saving bellevue website...she spoke for the pulpit committee...i have something to say to her directly:

HEY KAY!!

I listened to your BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH speech..ad nauseum...

Have you READ even the summary of the CT audit????????

How dare you accuse those who object to sin in the pulpit as causing the division!!!

You state that you all are waiting upon the Lord...tell me, Kay, did the Lord tell you to call CT to come and preach? Or did BS tell you???????

I dont' think for ONE SINGLE SECOND that Jesus Christ wants a man like CT behind that pulpit, for even one Sunday!!!!

YOu an fool yourself, but you aren't fooling the rest of us!!

You will be held accountable for causing others to stumble by standing up there and totally overlooking the sin of STEALING by Claude Thomas!!

I don't know how you can look at yourself in the mirror!!

SHAME ON YOU!!!!

gmommy said...

David,
No one would listen to ME...a grown woman with no "skeletons" other than sexual abuse as a child and a bad marriage...
No one listened over 5 years ago when I told what PW had done to me under the mask of a minister.

So we expect Children and vulnerable women with past abuse...or young people to come forward???

People that get physically attacked disappear...never to be heard from...
and we want/expect the wounded and fragile and confused to come forward!

I blew the whistle on family members and was erased from their lives.
We expect so much from those that have already been thru so much.

feelings are fickle....I AM positive...just not at the moment:)

Lin said...

From the http://www.abpnews.com/www/2670.article


Alternative salary systems

At the other end of the salary spectrum is Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas. Since its formation, the church has paid all of its staff members the same annual salary, which is currently $26,400. The only difference in pay is compensation for dependents -- $400 a month for a spouse and $275 a month per child for up to four kids.

“Our view is that God doesn’t value the work of the pastor more than he does the secretary because God called us all to use our spiritual gifts,” Jeff Abshire, Antioch’s administrative pastor, said. “Aren’t we all called to fulfill the Great Commission? Aren’t we all called to preach the gospel?”

Abshire said Antioch pays low salaries because it wants to preserve its ministers’ calling from God.

“We believe that we’ll have greater integrity with our people if we’re living off a salary that is similar to what most of the people in our church earn,” Abshire said. “It’s easier to preach about finances when the pastor has as much faith-need for God to provide as the congregation does.”

Notice the last sentence.

32yrs@bbc said...

I do not have the time to study audits, etc. as some of you obviously do. Claude Thomas may be guilty as charged - or he may not be. I've learned there was a 2nd. audit that was not published on the internet. This one supposedly
absolves him of wrong-doing. I would rather err on assuming he is innocent than judging him as guilty when he may not be.

As for J.H.'s posting C.T.'s message, I find that he is accusing a brother of a splinter in his eye when he has a log in his own that should be removed. Asking to be in the GBC choir and then secretly recording the message is deceitful and in MHO unconscionable. God's heart must be literally breaking over the dissension and division among His children - and satan must be laughing with glee!

"FOR WHERE ENVYING AND STRIFE ARE THERE IS CONFUSION AND EVERY EVIL WORK. BUT THE WISDOM THAT IS FROM ABOVE IS FIRST PURE, THEN PEACEABLE, GENTLE AND EASY TO BE ENTREATED, FULL OF MERCY AND GOOD FRUITS, WITHOUT PARTIALITY, AND WITHOUT HYPOCRISY. AND THE FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS SOWN IN PEACE BY THEM THAT MAKE PEACE."
(James 3:16-18)

32yrs@bbc said...

Children's soccer coaches @BBC were told last night they would have to agree to background check,
interview, and watch a 45 min. video. This includes those who have coached for years.

Christa Brown said...

concernedsbcer wrote: "Please make any suggestions you can to help us hold these folks accountable within the denomination."

What's needed is a denominational review board that's staffed with people who have the training, education, and experience to objectively and conscientiously review reports of clergy sex abuse. They do NOT need to have authority over the local churches. This is the sort of thing that other mainline faith groups have been doing in some form or fashion, including the American Baptist Churches, whose polity is also based on congregational autonomy. On the Baptist Life blog, I answered a lot of questions about this, and wound up putting up a FAQs page on the request for a review board here.

You can write to the chairman and vice-chair of the Bylaws workgroup of the SBC Executive Committee. They are the group that is tasked with addressing the motion passed at the SBC annual meeting last month to study the feasibility of a database of "convicted, confessed and credibly accused" ministers. Their email addresses are here.

SNAP also works to try to change statutes of limitation. It is a long, drawn-out, state-by-state slugfest. There was a recent victory in Delaware - the effort was enormous - it opened a 2-year window for civil suits - you can read more about it here. In some states, attempts have been made year after year after year, WITHOUT success. It's an age-old story. Large institutions have a whole lot more money for lobbying efforts than do grass-roots organizations such as SNAP.

And note that, even if criminal limitations periods were to get extended, they typically aren't made retroactive. So, EVEN IF extended statutes were passed in most states (a huge "IF"), perpetrators from the past would STILL be free, and the person seeking to report their abuse from a decade ago would still likely be unable to get anything accomplished. This is why change is needed on BOTH fronts. In the secular world, statutes of limitation need to be extended AND in the faith community, the denomination needs to have its own process for providing a safe forum in which people can report abuse and for reaching out to other victims.

I also believe that it would be a thousand times more healing for most victims if they could feel as though the faith community they grew up in was a community that cared enough to conscientiously listen to them. That's another reason why the denomination needs to provide a safe forum to which clergy abuse victims can make reports. It serves not only for prevention purposes (since the only way you find out about perpetrators is when victims feel safe enough to report them), but it also serves to reach out to the wounded and bring in the lost sheep.

Mary said...

Ima,

Bingo! You are so on target! Networking. Slow boil. Complacent frogs in the pews who neither know nor take the time to find out what's really going on. It's all so insidious and da' sheeps b's so fat and happy being dumb.

May God have mercy...

David Brown said...

Christa: A BIG AMEN!!

Very well said.



David Brown

MOM4 said...

32 years,
Thanks for your post about CT - I would like to see the subsequent audit if you can find out where to obtain a copy. This is a very serious issue and if the information is inaccurate, it needs to be cleared up immediately.
I would also like to mention that the DCS required all the staff at BBC to undergo the same scrutiny and training, including the video, not too long ago. They are the one's requiring it, therefore BBC is requiring it.

Lin said...

"I do not have the time to study audits, etc. as some of you obviously do. Claude Thomas may be guilty as charged - or he may not be. I've learned there was a 2nd. audit that was not published on the internet. This one supposedly
absolves him of wrong-doing. I would rather err on assuming he is innocent than judging him as guilty when he may not be."

I am sure quite a few people feel the same way you do..they do not have time to read the audit. I would think he would want people to know he has been exonerated and the second audit made public, too. Especially since he is 'preaching'.

Pretty amazing that they could audit all the detail of 41 pages of the original signed by quite a few deacons and then find nothing wrong. So it was all just a misunderstanding?

"As for J.H.'s posting C.T.'s message, I find that he is accusing a brother of a splinter in his eye when he has a log in his own that should be removed."

So if a crook reports a crime he witnessed, that makes the crime invalid and therefore no need of investigation?

"As for J.H.'s posting C.T.'s message, I find that he is accusing a brother of a splinter in his eye when he has a log in his own that should be removed."

What message?

" God's heart must be literally breaking over the dissension and division among His children - and satan must be laughing with glee! "

Isn't this the same arguement that was used by BBC leaders over all of Gaines' 'mistakes of the mind'? Best to just ignore the serious accusations (41 pages) against Thomas by his own deacons and just let him preach. Right?

What were you expecting... a jury of 12 to find him guilty first? The fact the church felt they needed that serious audit ought to give us all pause on him as a pastor.

imaresistor said...

Article and comments from the Baptist Blogger on the Claude Thomas controversy:

Thomas Controversial Issue

You should be sure to read the comments.

socwork said...

Ima,

Thanks for posting that link. That's interesting reading.

oc said...

lin,
Your 1:51 post. YES! Amen.

oc said...

concernedsbcer said:

It just occured to me....we're talking a Database or a background check would be a "start." Bologna. We don't need a start, we need a solution. Now. Before more kids pay with their innocence.

This is obviously an issues in all churches......as goes society, there also goes the church????

We are to be different, set apart.

11:22 AM, July 26, 2007

oc says:
Yes! It's time God's people get fed up with this abomination and take back the church. And as we have all observed, it is under the cloak of secrecy that this vile evilness continues. Where does it say in Scripture 'Thou shalt pamper the pedophile'?
I will refrain from saying what I think should be done to one who has perpetrated such an act. But I bet it would make other potential perps think twice about doing it.

Concernedsbcer is right. In too many cases, the church and the world have been blended. The salt has lost it's saltiness, and the light has flickered and dimmed. Many churches are luke warm at best, ready to be spewed from the mouth of our Lord.

Working hard at being a twin sister of the world, instead of being a stark contrast to the defiled, dirty robed harlot, the modern church has left her first Love.
In many cases, the church has prostituted herself to make herself more palatable to the 'masses'. She has sold herself, as Gomer did in the book of Hosea. Although she was bought from slavery, and she had one who loved her beyond reason, she rejected his love to pursue other lovers. Isn't that what the church is doing now? Makes me sick.

Done ranting. For now.

Just sayin'.
oc.

gmommy said...

Ima,
Thank you for the link.
There's just too much wrong to hunt and dig for the right...
BUT then we all watched the PW's crime play out in the same way.

PLEASE blog friends...don't come down on 32+.
It's hard to be hit with this same corruption after grieving and thinking you found a safe place again.

32+ saw what was going on at BBC. Give him/her time to process and work thru this.

I am NOT saying that we shouldn't discuss this.

We should look at ALL the prideful, power generated SIN and face it....not minimize ever!

Some people will only be able to take so much.

I was with a very sweet couple today from BBC that were absolutely NOT informed....
I'm sure partially by choice.

BUT they didn't attack me and I didn't attack them...unlike the last time I had to deal with someone that told me the church was being cleansed of people like me.

This is awful...and it is getting much clearer how a SG could come into a BBC and do all that he has done in such a short time.

This reminds me of the "grooming" or prep work a child molestor does on his victim BEFORE the actually sexual/physical abuse begins.

And this particular corruption started at the top and has trickled down.
The corporate lay people have come into the church with the "corporate mindset"...
much easier for them to go along with the "program" the corporation endorses...

Watch which ministers and members who have already been thru the fire at BBC bend more easily or more quickly at GBC.

NO denomination is without sinful,power hungry leaders.

But for my personal health...
I am finished with the SBC for now.
JMO

Lin said...

One more item of note: Claude Thomas was one of the pastors who signed the letter supporting Bob Reccord.


Who is Reccord?
http://www.abpnews.com/952.article

http://www.abpnews.com/1908.article
Special 'offering' for Reccord to help supplement his half million dollar severence pay from NAMB. (Your tithe dollars at work)

http://www.churchcentral.com/cgi-bin/avantgo/avantgo_article.pl?id=24305

letter of support for Reccord. Thomas signs as "Equip Ministry". Did not take him long to get a new 'non profit' after Life Points.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Bob Reccord spoke at BBC several times after Dr. Rogers retired and before SG came. I think he may have been briefly considered by the BBC search committee.

Rowdy Lynn said...

Been Redeemed Said....

We are still church hunting and I am very impressed with the new pastor of Ellendale Baptist sermons after listening online, but of course we/I don't know if they are PDL, Emerging Church or Church Growth Movement and I have heard they do the "hands across the aisle" after every service too and I am wondering what's up with that? Any one know?

Lynn's Response:

I used to go to Ellendale and when I was there they did that. I have no idea what its for though (Personally, I'm not the kind of guy who likes holding hands with people). If they still do it, I don't know though.

concernedSBCer said...

Ima's 4:39 link is unreal. We have already seen the report, of course, but some of the posts following are worthy of a read. There are a couple that GBC might want to look at; young pastors who hold true to the Word. Then, of course, there are the usual "forgive, restore" crowd that again forget the other half of that equation: repent and repay."

sickofthelies said...

32 years posted:

Children's soccer coaches @BBC were told last night they would have to agree to background check,
interview, and watch a 45 min. video. This includes those who have coached for years.

My reply:

That's all well and good, and I am not finding fault with BBC doing this..I suppose that on the surface, that is ALL any organization CAN do...

HOWEVER>............a background check means nothing...many many many of them do not have a criminal record, especially those who prey on church kids...( because churches dont' prosecute and like to keep it quiet) and conducting an interview...well, that doesn't mean anything, either..I am thinking of my perp... TEXAS A&M graduate, mechanical engineer, charming, etc...having an interview with him would reveal nothing about his evil side. And watching a 45 minute video...well...what's that gonna do? Convince a pedophile that he ought not do that anymore?

And seriously, I am NOT faulting what BBC is trying to do...because they are attempting to be responsible and protect their children, and I recognize this..it's just that churches and other organizations are at a disadvantage when trying to uncover a pedophile..Unfortunately, they are usually uncovered AFTER the event, NOT before, regardless of all the steps you have taken to try and prevent it..

Which is why what SG did was SOOO INCREDIBLY stupid...Here on one end, they are running around in circles, trying to find the pedophile before it happens, and SG KNEW of a pedophile, and allowed him to be around the children...unsupervised...

Opposite ends of the spectrum...

sickofthelies said...

Another point about my last post:

If what SG did with regard to PW was no big deal to some of you " shruggers" out there, then WHY OH WHY is the athletic ministry going to such lengths to try and detect a pedophile before it happens?

If PW was not dangerous, why is any other pedophile dangerous? If PW was deemed safe to be around children, why bother to find other pedophiles?

Why are they not following the lead of their great leader, SG????

Do they differ from him in their approach to pedophiles? If so, what does that say for the idiots who shrug their shoulders over his overlooking PW, and give him the standing ovations?

Why the double mindedness?

sickofthelies said...

I"m starting to think that running off Sam Shaw and bringing in BS was jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Christa Brown said...

sickofthelies: My guess is that they're requiring the soccer coaches to get background checks because the church's insurance carrier has required it and also for public relations purposes. I'm not saying that it's not a good thing, but it's certainly not the biggest part of the problem. The biggest part of the problem is church and denominational leaders who know about abuse and know about information that should be reported to police, and they do nothing. You've seen this reality at Bellevue. You know it. But of course, it's happening at churches all across the country. It's just that most other churches are smaller and don't get as much press.

Most perpetrators have more than one victim. If leadership doesn't stop the perpetrators they actually DO know about, how does anyone imagine that they will be able to stop the perpetrators they don't know about? Kids would be a whole lot safer if church and denominational leaders would look in the mirror and focus on how THEY should be dealing with the problem.

Junkster said...

concernedSBCer said...
Ima's 4:39 link is unreal. We have already seen the report, of course, but some of the posts following are worthy of a read. There are a couple that GBC might want to look at; young pastors who hold true to the Word. Then, of course, there are the usual "forgive, restore" crowd that again forget the other half of that equation: repent and repay."

I went and read that article and the comments on it, too. One post that really stood out to me was from a supporter of Claude Thomas who said that Thomas was innocent, that the audit report was inaccurate, that the auditors came in with an agenda dictated by the anti-Thomas guys who brought them in, etc.

I was starting to wonder if maybe there was another side to this story, but then the guy went on to say that Thomas was run off by a few disgruntled people who longed for the good old days under their former pastor, and they were just unhappy with the change to more contempory music and a shift in ministry to focus on reaching out to a more diverse crowd.

Sound familiar?

concernedSBCer said...

Junk: I noted the same post you did. Did you see the rebuttal farther that said FBCE was already a contemporary, diverse church before he came? As I said before, where there is a lot of smoke, there is bound to be a fire.

32yrs@bbc said...

Thank you,NASS and ima, for the C.T. links.
Gives much more clarification and authenticity to the charges. The lack of accountability among our spiritual leaders is disappointing and discouraging. True repentance and integrity seem to be passe'.

Thank you, gmommy, for your compassion. Yes, I am weary of the deceitful practices and corruption that seem to permeate the SBC from the top down, and yet I don't want to become so jaded that I no longer give anyone the benefit of the doubt. And I restate that I believe J.H. hit a new low by asking to sing in the choir and then secretly recording the message. It makes me wonder where all of this is going to end. At this point I just have to give my disappointment, dismay and discouragement to Jesus who is my shield and my glory and the lifter up of my head (Ps.3:3).

In these last of the Last Days, it is important we remember who our true enemy is - the enemy of our souls. He knows his time is limited and is seeking to cause as much destruction from within the church as from without. He is a deceiver and the father of lies. We also have to face the reality there is no perfect church because there are no perfect people. The main thing is the main thing - we have to keep our eyes on Jesus, the
Author and Finisher of our faith - and stay alert! God's people can no longer afford to be apathetic.
As the saying goes: "You snooze -
you lose." We are in a spiritual battle like never before. People better wake up and realize there is a war going on. IMO I believe God is uncovering much that heretofor has been done in the darkness. He is telling His people "Get off your religious knees. There is sin in the camp!"
The Bridegroom is coming and He wants His bride, the church, to be cleansed and purified and ready to meet Him.:-)

32yrs@bbc said...

To whom compassion is shown, compassion is given:-)
gmommy & SOTL,
One of the most grievious things done, IMO, is the handling of the PW SIN. It was not a "moral failure"; it was a horrible SIN in the sight of God. If there was true repentance on PW's part, then it is "under the blood." But because there was a cover-up for 6 mo., a raise, no removal from his position of having access to children, a desire to keep him on staff because it was "under the blood," it minimizes the SIN and
it is a slap in the face to not only PW's victim but to all who have suffered sexual abuse and an affront to a HOLY God. I am grieved over those who somehow give it a pass by accepting the "unchartered waters" excuse. I wanted you to know I understand your anger and frustration and grieve with you at the injustice of it all. Just remember - God rights all wrongs in the end of the story. You can count on it.

"He who hath led will lead
all through the wilderness,
He who hath fed will surely feed..

He who hath heard thy cry
will never close His ear,
He who hath marked thy
faintest sigh
will not forget thy tear.

He loveth always, FAILETH NEVER,
so rest in Him today - forever."

imaresistor said...

Morning...

Just a note to say...on speaking about SWBTS in lieu of Thomas, I have been advised by a reliable source that this seminary is a hotbed for the purpose driven movement. Most graduates come out of there reaking of Warrenism. So, ask yourselves...what does that say for the professors there?

BBC 11yrs said...

Has anyone, like SNAP, contacted the news outlets in the areas where Gil served? I am of the opinion that the main stream media would love to have a story which paints the present day church with an ugly brush and this is ugly.

I am also of the opinion that regardless of what security guards run off those seeking to get the word out about sexual predators, security guards can not stop the press.

Send this info, those who have first hand accounts to the police and the local news stations.

Talking about it here will only get so far and the news must be spread much further.

BBC 11yrs said...

"Here on one end, they are running around in circles, trying to find the pedophile before it happens"

I do not think that anyone is trying to find a pedophile before it happens. This, to me, is a poor way to state the reasons for background checks.

I see the decision to do background checks as one of security not a hunting party out for the kill.

Brandi said...

Greetings...

I'm not sure if anyone will stop by this particular thread any more, but it was brought to my attention that there was discussion regarding Faith Walk.

I've been overwhelmed trying to read through everything, but I would like to offer anyone the opportunity to email me about Faith Walk. There were too many questions and comments to address here.

My name is Brandi Hayes. I attended an Emmaus Walk and have worked with Faith Walk for several years. In fact, I am on the board for the ministry. I've been a member of Bellevue for 15 years and I've sung in the choir for as long. Unfortanately, my time there has drawn to a close, but I say all this so you would know who I am.

There were some who had questions and I will try to email...hope you don't mind.

Thanks and again, if you have questions, please feel free to email me. I will gladly post answers if you like, but I don't get the opportunity to read through these or follow up immediately.

Blessings,
Brandi

sickofthelies said...

christa brown says:

If leadership doesn't stop the perpetrators they actually DO know about, how does anyone imagine that they will be able to stop the perpetrators they don't know about?

my reply:

Yep, that is what i was trying to say, but you said it much better!

Churchmouse said...

A PRAYER FOR GUIDANCE

1 Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation.
2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God; for unto thee I pray.
3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning. O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
4 For thou art not a God who hath pleasure in wickedness, neither shall evil dwell with thee.
5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight; thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
6 Thou shalt destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy; and in fear will I worship toward thy holy temple..
8 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight be fore my face.

Psalms 5:1-8 KJV

Churchmouse said...

Just one more:

GOD OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very PRESENT help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.

...

10 Be still,and know that I am God, and I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Psalms 46:1-4,10-11

gmommy said...

Churchmouse,
You are such a blessing.

Churchmouse said...

gmommy,
YOU are a blessing1

feelingblue said...

I was at the coach's meeting the other night. It appears the background check is more than a criminal check - they also want the right to perform a credit check as well. Why do they need a credit check on coaches?

gmommy said...

Wade Burleson's blog is very interesting today.
I'm sure PP and others won't appreciate it.

concernedSBCer said...

Truthseekers: My future daughter-in-law Fran was in a bad car wreck this am. They are on the way to the hospital. She looks ok considering how her car looks...some injuries....car totaled....

Miracles still happen. God is on His throne.

concernedSBCer said...

32+ said: "As the saying goes: "You snooze -
you lose." We are in a spiritual battle like never before. People better wake up and realize there is a war going on. IMO I believe God is uncovering much that heretofor has been done in the darkness. He is telling His people "Get off your religious knees. There is sin in the camp!"
The Bridegroom is coming and He wants His bride, the church, to be cleansed and purified and ready to meet Him.:-)"

This is the quote of the day. 100% Truth.

Billie said...

My name is Brandi Hayes. I attended an Emmaus Walk and have worked with Faith Walk for several years. In fact, I am on the board for the ministry. I've been a member of Bellevue for 15 years and I've sung in the choir for as long. Unfortanately, my time there has drawn to a close, but I say all this so you would know who I am.

There were some who had questions and I will try to email...hope you don't mind.

Thanks and again, if you have questions, please feel free to email me. I will gladly post answers if you like, but I don't get the opportunity to read through these or follow up immediately.

Blessings,
Brandi

8:

Brandi,
I also am a member of BBC and I have been reading the comments regarding the faith walks and have been grieved over the opposition posted. God from the beginning of time has told us to, "walk by faith" and we are told to teach our children to do the same. Why anyone would want to complain of a ministry who is teaching by example that we are to walk by faith in the God we profess as our God absolutely baffles my mind.


We can sing about praise and not praise God with our heart.
We can talk about loving God but not love God.
Yes, we can walk about faith and not live by faith. There are hypocrites all around us regardless of what we are doing or saying but THEN we focus on those who are not; there are those whose heart is right with God and they are promoting God's way from their heart and PRAISE GOD!!!!!the remnant is still alive and going strong in the midst of all the hypocrites.

BRANDI, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!

Billie

New BBC Open Forum said...

Awww, Ms. Billie. I knew you couldn't stay away from us for too long. Did you get the gate key back when no one was looking?

sickofthelies said...

billie, billie, billie

You have obviously taken back that key that you gave to God a few days ago.

allofgrace said...

Ahhh....the butchery that's done to Scripture..walking by faith has nothing to do with "prayer walking"...the faith is also referred to as "the way", a "race", a "fight", so ...I guess next we'll have a 5k prayer running marathon?...perhaps "boxing for God"?...Ms. Billie your lack of understanding of Scripture is mind-boggling.

MOM4 said...

Me thinks Ms Billie is adicted

concernedSBCer said...

AOG: :)

MOM4 said...

Hey, there's 2 "d"'s in addicted...I guess I got carried away - I was befuddled at the ups and downs of poor Ms Billie.

Rod Almondmartanti said...

Just an exciting find. If, and that is only IF, anyone is looking for a conservative, Bible believing and most excellent Bible teaching, praying church that is truly, one in a million, try First Evan. It is EVERYTHING and MORE that anyone could ask for in a body of Believers who love and worship the Lord. He is the true Head of this chruch, and not in name or doctrine only but in practice. They are prayer warriors and on Wed night they PRAY, PRAY AND PRAY. It is a true old fashio0ned prayer meeting. Thery send out probably more missionaries than Bellevue and are extremely missionary minded. They actually live the Christian life, and being doers of the Word is their business. business. Plus, you will NEVEEER ever meet so many loving spirit-filled people in your life that walk the talk and give out the Word.

We just cannot believe that this jewel of a church still exists in this day of luke-warmness and apostacy and the degridation of God's Word and Truth. I didn't realize how far we had fallen until I saw a chruch that truly is after God's own heart in this dark day of compromise and sin.

feelingblue said...

Nass, please e-mial me. Thanks

oc said...

Oh,Miss Billie. Was it wise of you to pick-pocket the keys from God?

Just askin'.
oc.

Billie said...

commhBrandi,
I heard some rattling going on outside my, "wall of protection" when I sent you a message. If you hear a garbage can fall over out there it is just some skunks trying to find something to eat!!!
Don't pay any attention to them they have been out there for a long time doing their same old things stinking up the air!
Billie

Lin said...

"Yes, we can walk about faith and not live by faith. There are hypocrites all around us regardless of what we are doing or saying but THEN we focus on those who are not; there are those whose heart is right with God and they are promoting God's way from their heart and PRAISE GOD!!!!!"

Ms. Billie, I need a TBN translator for your comments but I can assure you God's 'way' is NOT to ignore scripture. Pass that on to your pastor.

Junkster said...

concernedSBCer said...
Junk: I noted the same post you did. Did you see the rebuttal farther that said FBCE was already a contemporary, diverse church before he came? As I said before, where there is a lot of smoke, there is bound to be a fire.

Yes, I saw that ... I also saw the response that the church is even more contemporary and diverse after his leaving ... which just goes to show that the true concerns people had with CT had nothing to do with those issues, but with concerns about his character, just as is the case with SG and BBC.

Junkster said...

Uncharted Waters?
What do experienced sailors do when entering "uncharted waters"? Don't they proceed with extreme caution, scrutizizing every detail, assuming nothing, exercising extra diligence --- all so as to avoid shipwreck? Or do they proceed "full steam ahead", disregarding the risks of the unfamiliar, ignore potential dangers, and, once encountering the inevitible shipwreck caused by such carelessness, say, "Well, we were in uncharted waters, you know..."?

Assuming the "uncharted waters" excuse was even remotely accurate (which evidence demonstrates it is not), wouldn't that be all the more reason for SG to have given extra care when encountering the PW situation?

Been Redeemed said...

Ms Billie,
I remember who Brandi is. She is a sweet, lovely lady who sings with a voice that is truly a gift from God. I also noticed that she said her time at Bellevue had come to a close. I have seen her at GBC where she shares her talents. Don't be so quick to think that just because she has posted here that she is on one "side" or the other. It sounds to me like she is just trying to clarify some questions about the Faith Walk, so get off your high horse and trot on back behind your gate...

Junkster said...

imaresistor said...
Just a note to say...on speaking about SWBTS in lieu of Thomas, I have been advised by a reliable source that this seminary is a hotbed for the purpose driven movement. Most graduates come out of there reaking of Warrenism. So, ask yourselves...what does that say for the professors there?

FWIW, SWBTS is not the only one; it is more the rule than the exception in that regard.

Rowdy Lynn said...

Hey....I was just looking at the program for Sunday up at Bellevue.

Am I the only one who finds it ironic that Gaines isn't going to be there Sunday, the same day as the information meeting?

Rowdy Lynn said...

Billie said...

commhBrandi,
I heard some rattling going on outside my, "wall of protection" when I sent you a message. If you hear a garbage can fall over out there it is just some skunks trying to find something to eat!!!
Don't pay any attention to them they have been out there for a long time doing their same old things stinking up the air!
Billie

2:04 PM, July 27, 2007


Who are you calling a skunk? I certainly don't smell!

BTW, Don't you think you should get back to Bolivar? They miss you deeply.

sheeplessatbbc said...

Am I the only one who finds it ironic that Gaines isn't going to be there Sunday, the same day as the information meeting?

I guess it would be too much to hope for "bye-bye", so long, farewell.......

(word verification, hoxbetov)

johnthebaptist said...

Billie said...
commhBrandi,
I heard some rattling going on outside my, "wall of protection" when I sent you a message. If you hear a garbage can fall over out there it is just some skunks trying to find something to eat!!!
Don't pay any attention to them they have been out there for a long time doing their same old things stinking up the air!



Billie, Is that any way for a Sunday School teacher to talk? You have blasphemed God by your using Him in your silly little wall game. Now you mock and name call God's children? When you asked God for the key, which YOU said you would do before posting here, did God also tell you what to say? I don't believe He did.

If you want to name call and say unkind things about other people, don't come under the mask of one who is walking so close to God that you can give Him a key and He will give it if you ask.

When I call someone a name,at least I know it is from me and I don't act like a Pharasee about it.

You act like " Oh, Brandi...I am so thankful that I am behind my wall while God holds my keys. I am not with the skunks in the trash ourside the wall" ...what a bunch of hogwash!

Please, God is not your bellboy.
It is blaspheme for you to use Him so flippantly.

And He certainly doesn't want to play your wall games when everyone knows that you either have had a duplicate key made or your just putting on an holier-than-thou act.

If you think you can say things like what you said and expect God to bless your Sunday School lesson, you just proved how prideful, ignorant and disrespectful you are of Him.

Junkster said...

Brandi said...
My name is Brandi Hayes. I attended an Emmaus Walk and have worked with Faith Walk for several years.

Hi, Brandi,
I've not remarked much of the Faith Walk discussion, except to point people to the ministy's website for info, and another with info about the history of Emmaus Walk. While I understand people's concerns about some of the elements focused on in some of literature on the Emmaus Walk, I have not formed an opinion soley on that basis, for two reasons. One is that I suspect that, like any ministry, Emmaus Walk and Faith Walk have good aspects and less than perfect ones (since no human ministry or institution is going to be perfect), and I also suspect that the emphasis from one event to another may vary somewhat, depending on the theological leanings of the hosting congregation. And two is that I know several godly, grounded, committed and knowledgable believers like yourself who have been through one of these Walks, and they all speak highly of the content and the experience.

(Yeah, I know you, and you know me. I'm not naming names, but "Computer Boy" might ring a bell... or perhaps you remember my wife from a very special production of "My Fair Lady". Now others might figure it out, too, but I hope most don't. I'm sure you understand why.)

concernedSBCer said...

Miss Billie: It's really not necessary to call names and be crude. Be nice, now.
:)

socwork said...

johnthebaptist,

AMEN to your 4:50 post!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Ms. Billie wrote:

"commhBrandi,
I heard some rattling going on outside my, 'wall of protection' when I sent you a message. If you hear a garbage can fall over out there it is just some skunks trying to find something to eat!!!
Don't pay any attention to them they have been out there for a long time doing their same old things stinking up the air!
Billie"


Well, that was certainly full of... grace, wasn't it? I'm sure the men in white jackets will have rounded up the escaped inmate before the day is over and will now take extra precautions with the gate key. So everyone, just proceed as you normally would.

Remember, this woman is a SS teacher at BBC. Scary, I know, but true.

"commhBrandi"

What? Word verification?

stinky said...

Miss Billie.

I am offended by your odiferous comments.

Just sayin'.

Pepe LePew.

Rowdy Lynn said...

Wait a minute....doesn't trash smell? Since Donna Gaines called us trash, no wonder Billie's callin us skunks!

larry said...

This is a change of topic, but gmommy's question about "Jesus our big brother" at that other church got me to thinking about the Mormon belief of Jesus the elder brother.

The only protection we have against these heresies is God's Word and the counsel of the Spirit and other Christians. At times like these, it's imperative that we not only ground ourselves but also that we watch out for each other.

As many of us are searching for a church home, if anything is preached that sounds questionable please bring it here to this forum. It's possible that it's biblical, but it's also possible that it's not. The forces of the enemy are very active, and would love to lead as many of us as possible astray.

This is a quote from "The New Mormon Challenge" by Carl Mosser, and it's scary. Wouldn't it be horrible if some of the people who post here end up in a Mormon or other false denomination someday?

Almost all converts to Mormonism come from a nominally Christian background.

A well-known saying within LDS circles, based on the average size of a Baptist church in America, is "We baptize a Batist church every week."

Whatever the actual figures are, the fact is that far more people convert to Mormonism from evangelical churches than vice versa.

Given the current levels of biblical and theological literacy in evangelical churches and the kinds of converts produced by certain segments of the church growth movement, I am skeptical that evangelicanism is growing in the right kind of way to stave off groups like the Mormons.

An increasingly theologically illiterate laity and an entertainment-focused pastoral ministry opens wide the doors of opportunity for Mormonism and other heterodox movements to attract converts from our churches."


Let's watch out for each other!

Cakes said...

Sorry for that last comment, loves, I think my brain is swelling from too much sun and too much of the Bratton Report, otherwise known as the NSPNDOF (Not-so-plausible Non-denial Open Forum).

Hey, I just found out that I will get a permanent position in a school next week, so I don't have to live like a starving artist and work 70 hours a week anymore. Yippee, health insurance; whooppee, a social life!

I promise I won't freak out again.

Lin said...

Larry,

Interesting about Mormons. I read recently that the typical Jehovah Witness convert is a housewife who grew up in a Christian church.

Rowdy Lynn said...

Its funny you mention mormonism.

I was watching a special a while back on Mormonism and found 3 things the Mormon leadership does that Steve Gaines and his group of cronies does.

1. Check Tithes. In Mormonism, you are not in good standing unless you tithe to the church.

2. Keep financial records secret from the membership. (I think a Mormon church was ordered by the state courts to open their books after a lawsuit was filed involving a situation simular to that of PW in Oregon.

3. Dissenters are kicked out of the church.

sickofthelies said...

MIss Billie,

Would you PLEASE tell us about the conversatioin you must have had with God about the key in order for you to post again?

We would really love to hear it.

concernedSBCer said...

Anyone who hasn't read "Kingdom of the Cults," do. It's fabulous and extremely informative.

Junkster said...

At 2:04 PM, July 27, 2007
Billie said...
If you hear a garbage can fall over out there it is just some skunks trying to find something to eat!!! Don't pay any attention to them they have been out there for a long time doing their same old things stinking up the air!

At 2:32 PM, July 13, 2007
Jon L. Estes said...
Billie,
You are my kind of blogger!


No commentary necessary.

concernedSBCer said...

Junk: yep, no comment necessary, bless their hearts (like the good Southern girl I am)
;)

Lin said...

Cakes...that is awesome! Congrats! What do you teach?

Please tell me writing or English. You have lots to offer in that area.

sickofthelies said...

sweet cakes said:

Hey, I just found out that I will get a permanent position in a school next week, so I don't have to live like a starving artist and work 70 hours a week anymore. Yippee, health insurance; whooppee, a social life!

my reply:

Cakes, I am SOO happy for you!!! I know that you are a fantastic teacher...hot diggity dawg!!!

concernedSBCer said...

Cakes!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

I am so happy for you! Hey, we can celebrate at the bowling party.....your "soda" is on me!

gmommy said...

Cakes has to buy MY soda now that he is a working man!!!
SO happy for you!

I don't think that "last comment" made it thru sweetcakes....:)

Dr. Bill Loney said...

Finally! The little boxy thing is back...first time in 3 days...that was the worst case of Noboxulism I have ever seen.

I have a lot to go over, so let me get to my list

One...criminal background check? You mean I could have been getting paid all this time? Figures

B. If one does the 'faith walk' slower than the rest, does that then make it a 'faith mosey'? And can one do it on rascal? And when does the eating begin?

Three...this just in...guess what? Fred Thompson (not the senator but the guy who is painting my landlady's rocking chairs) pulled some strings...not literal strings, he a painter not a puppeteer for Castleberry's sake!...anyway, short story long, I got the 'Squire' back! That black cascading cloud you see tomorrow on 240 aint gonna be a tornado, but instead the Doc is gonna be cruisin' for recalled canned meat products!

F. Cakes, I hope that you are going to be teaching math...after all, new research shows that 4 out of 3 kids have trouble with fractions...and thanks for calling be a 'creature' on MB's blog...that's the nicest thing anybody's ever...I'm sorry, I'm getting all emotional...face getting flush as blood rushes to tiny capillaries in epidural layer of skin...warm feeling entering uppor torso area...salty fluid now falling from eye ducts.........Ok, that's over.

7. Billie is not crazy...and I'm not either...and neither am I!

M. the bowling thing...does the establishment have a NO SHOES, NO SHIRT, NO SERVICE sign on the door?...Cause that's a dealbreaker.

10. My Cankle reducer machine, affectionately known as 'the crippler', is on the 'blink'... (well actually it's on the 'hock')man, gas costs a lot! So if any of you had a Canklectomy scheduled for next week, you'll have to reschedule.

Well that about does it. As my mentor, the world renowned and highly esteemed online medical school professor, Dr. Nachos Grande used to always say:

"Senor Loney, evil will succeed when good men do nothing... so evil will probably have a banner year around you...and another thing, Drugs will always lead to nowhere... but on the bright side it will probably be the scenic route"

Can anyone say Nachos Shakespeare?

William T. Loney, MD

PS...the letters above the little box that you have to type in read as follows (not kidding): MANFUNKY...of course that's just their opinion

gmommy said...

Rod,
From your earlier post concerning 1st Evan....
I hear your excitment and I absolutely understand.
I cried the whole day after I went to a church where I felt safe and the focus was on Christ alone and His holiness.

I have a GOOD friend that has been there many years. With grandchildren being born and one of her girls getting married,I was only able to talk to her about the BBC stuff a few months ago.
She made the statement that corporate America had invaded their church and it made her angry.
I didn't ask her to elaborate at the time.
I DO NOT want to bring any negative to your joy and I know nothing.
BUT if you would like, I can email her and ask her to give me more info on what she meant.
I DO know that before my son decided to work in the Joy class instead of youth group on WEd...he went to youth group there and said it was better than BBC... not more cool...better.

I am glad you liked the service!! Is there a new minister??? I didn't know if the one who replaced the one that was there for a long time was still there?

Junkster said...

Dr. Bill Loney said...
PS...the letters above the little box that you have to type in read as follows (not kidding): MANFUNKY...of course that's just their opinion

No, it's not just theirs; it's pretty much everyone else's, too. But we wouldn't have you any other way. "Play that funky music, white boy!"

concernedSBCer said...

Dr. Loney: It's good to see you back. Your medical expertise is much appreciated here.
:)

sheeplessatbbc said...

Cakes,

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

There's going to be some very lucky students where you are going to be teaching!!

I'll bring the "Cakes got a real, paycheck job" cake to the "Bowling Party"

sheeplessatbbc said...

Lot's to celebrate..Cakes got a job, Doc Looney's back and......

Not long til MABTS Wednesday Bible study breakfast cranks back up where we can hear some real "preaching" and from a man that "knows and preaches" the Bible, and has INTEGRITY!! YEAH!!

larry said...

Lin said...

Larry,

Interesting about Mormons. I read recently that the typical Jehovah Witness convert is a housewife who grew up in a Christian church.


Lin,

I'm not surprised to hear that at all. The typical Sunday morning congregation in the Bible Belt averages two-thirds women. That 2:1 ratio means that half of the married women in our churches are married to a man who does not attend worship regularly. If regular church attendance is a true and reliable indication of a man's spiritual health, then it's not a surprise at all that our families are vulnerable through the mothers and children.

concernedSBCer said...

Anyone who hasn't read "Kingdom of the Cults," do. It's fabulous and extremely informative.


I also recommend Dr. Martin's countercult book to anyone who feels led to research the false religions that are showing up on our doorsteps. It's worth checking out, but the apostle John told us everything we really need to know about recognizing cults. Every single one of the denies the incarnation and the divinity of Jesus.

1 John 4:2-3
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

imaresistor said...

In reading Rod's post last evening, and gmommy's response to it...my heart breaks. We are having to look among table scraps in search of a spiritual banquet in today's world. Can you imagine God's disapppoinment in mankind?

We need a simple reminder that God is not interested in improving the world, or making us comfortable in it, but rather delivering us from it. Our priorities should coincide with His. Instead, we are seeing the corruption of the world being brought into the church. This includes not only the moral and political corruption of today's world, but also the religious world which mixes rituals and ceremonies, both ancient and new, with faith in Christ! We are witnessing a journey back in time to the very system from which Christ died to rescue us!

God help us!

sheeplessatbbc said...

Not long til MABTS Wednesday Bible study breakfast cranks back up where we can hear some real "preaching" and from a man that "knows and preaches" the Bible, and has INTEGRITY!! YEAH!!

That would be DR. MICHAEL SPRADLIN!

President, Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary

imaresistor said...

Sheepless...

Don't suppose one could get this via the internet? Is it posted, etc.? Why don't they put his bible studies on sermonaudio.com. There are many of us out here who would be interested in participtating?

sheeplessatbbc said...

Ima,

You'll have to go with us, he is a human dynamo! You've got to listen hard & fast, or you'll get left in the dust!

You'd enjoy Bro. Mike, he is phenomenal!

klavierliebfrau said...

Did anyone notice the July 15 property transfer in the C.A. showing a transfer of 704, 708, 712 North Highland, 3513 Tutwiler, and 3514 Faxon to BBC from Covenant Community Church, Inc. for $475K. Seems a little pricy for the neighborhood. Then again I am not a Real Estate Agent (nor do I play one on TV). Many things come into play like on-site parking, building improvements. I suppose this is part of our local church building missions. Just wondering. Guess I need to pick up a copy of the budget.

imaresistor said...

Sheep...

Its a bit too far for me I am sorry to say. :)

I am happy for all of you who have this opportunity.

johnthebaptist said...

klavierliebfrau said...
Did anyone notice the July 15 property transfer in the C.A. showing a transfer of 704, 708, 712 North Highland, 3513 Tutwiler, and 3514 Faxon to BBC from Covenant Community Church, Inc. for $475K. Seems a little pricy for the neighborhood. Then again I am not a Real Estate Agent (nor do I play one on TV). Many things come into play like on-site parking, building improvements. I suppose this is part of our local church building missions. Just wondering. Guess I need to pick up a copy of the budget.



Reply: Look the addresses up on the shelby county tax assessors website. Those are commercial/church site properties with are worth a lot more than residential houses.

Did the membership vote on this or is another thing we are not supposed to know about?

I just can't seem to care anymore.

ezekiel said...

Worth Fighting for....

The Fight

Lin said...

Quote from Ez's link:

"Look you, sirs, there are ages yet to come. If the Lord does not speedily appear, there will come another generation, and another, and all these generations will be tainted and injured if we are not faithful to God and to his truth to-day."

Preached in 1888. Ironic, huh? Best to be stubborn and called legalistic when it comes to the Truth of God's Word.

gopher said...

The link of the sale is
http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/cda/article_print/0,1983,MCA_2799_5628406_ARTICLE-DETAIL-PRINT,00.html>Here


and search Bellevue

New BBC Open Forum said...

Gopher's link.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Covenant Community Church website.

704, 708, 712 North Highland, 3513 Tutwiler, 3514 Faxon: Bellevue Baptist Church from Covenant Community Church Inc., $475,000

Okay... maybe there's a perfectly logical and reasonable explanation -- I'm not saying there's not -- but as "JTB" said, "Did the membership vote on this or is another thing we are not supposed to know about?"

Just askin'. Perhaps someone will ask about this at tomorrow afternoon's "information meeting."

Details:

"There will be an information meeting Sunday, July 29, at 4:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. During this meeting, members can ask questions they have pertaining to the Annual Financial Report and a Financial Report of the First Quarter ending June 30. Members may pick up a copy of this report today at the Events Registration Center."

New BBC Open Forum said...

Some interesting stats from the 2007 Annual Report:

Church Membership

"The church membership as of June 30, 2007, was 30,032. This number reflects total accumulated members less anyone who has transferred their membership, has passed away since this date, or has asked to be taken off our roll. Over the years, a number of members have moved without providing a forwarding address or are no longer attending Bellevue. Numerous attempts have been made to locate these members. Currently the breakdown of membership is as follows: active members 18,437; inactive members 11,595."

Attendance

"The average attendance for morning worship is down 15 percent, and Bible Fellowship is down 10 percent for the nine months ending June 30, 2007. These percentages are compared to the same period last year. The Sunday evening attendance is down 30 percent for the same period. The average worship attendance for the nine month period is 4,189 for the 9:30 a.m. service and 2,985 for the 11:00 a.m. service. The combined average for both morning services is 7,174 and 1,835 for the evening service."

Rowdy Lynn said...

The numbers don't lie. People are doing their talking with their feet.

If I had the money, I'd get a lawyer and a CPA Firm and go after Bellevue to force them to open the books and have an external auditor look at it. An external auditor who has no connections to Bellevue leadership.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Lynn wrote:

"The numbers don't lie."

Not so sure those didn't. I think 15% for Sunday mornings and 30% for Sunday nights is a generous estimate. Notice they didn't give figures for Wednesday nights.

Psalm 43:3 said...

rowdy lynn said...
The numbers don't lie. People are doing their talking with their feet.

15% decrease in worship attendance? 10% in Sunday School? I agree with your assessment about people voting with their feet, but these percentages seem more than a little off. I would guess that worship is down by at least 50%- probably a little less for Sunday School. It would be interesting to know how the numbers you quoted were tabulated.

gmommy said...

The BBC leadership is counting on people that enjoy "getting their ears tickled" filling the seats that have been vacated.

And I guess we know that they will be.


What are your thoughts on why BS would put his reputation on the line for a dishonored minister?

Or why after all that GBC has been thru,
he would deliberately bring in anymore turmoil ??

Is this loyalty to this friend???
Is that really being a friend??
Or properly doing his job of helping the church become strong again??

And WILL the members of GBC NOT question things now that they have been rebuked??

just askin.....

New BBC Open Forum said...

Dr. Roy Fish will be preaching at BBC in the morning.

toddstarnes.com said...

I've started a series of columns on "The dumbing down of American Churches." The series is located at my blog. I invite you to take a gander.

http://toddjamesstarnes.blogspot.com

Lin said...

"active members 18,437;

The combined average for both morning services is 7,174"


Can someone interpret this mac truck sized gap? How can you be active and not be a part of the ‘average’ attendance?

sickofthelies said...

ok, ladies,
Are we all set to show up in the vicinity of Billie Tapp's SS class in the morning and hand out copies of her postings on here? I think she promised her class that she would not be posting anymore..you know..that thing about the key and the gatekeeper,etc...

Don't forget the secret handshake that we have been practicing and the " special" glasses so that she can't look into our eyes.....
we wouldn't want her to be able to look into our eyes and see that we have discernment...it might upset her.

And you know what happens when she gets upset..it results in bizarre late night posts on this forum.

gmommy said...

SOTL,
Lunch afterwards to discuss the lesson???????

sickofthelies said...

gmommy,

yeah...at the same place that we planned tomorrow's event.

:)

johnthebaptist said...

Todd said....


I've started a series of columns on "The dumbing down of American Churches." The series is located at my blog. I invite you to take a gander.


Reply: I stop by and read the a couple of articles. VERY good. I don't know Todd but he does state very correctly the state of churches today.

Please go read his blog.

concernedSBCer said...

SOTL and GMommy: Count me in! I've been CRAVING a solid Bible lesson, haven't you?

sickofthelies said...

concerned,

Yes, I have, too, but that is why we will be using our special super duper ear plugs tgomorrow in ms. tapp's class.

ezekiel said...

Folks..its a first.. I am speechless...almost. You just have to read this and study it. I read this this morning...and it is...BBC and a lot of other churches. Check out the links...You will find pastors and deacons...leading you astray...This is about as clear as it gets. Jesus hates what is happening at BBC...and the other churches.

12"And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: 'The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.
13"'I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith[b] even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.'

Doctrine of the Nicolaitans


More Here...see #2,3,9 

Chilling to say the least...

ezekiel said...

Todd,

I apreciate the work you are doing ..but....

You state it too mildly...it is more than a dumbing down... it is an absolute war....and many are falling..

gmommy said...

SOTL,
now, now...we don't need to stand out.

BTW, I had a person from BBC tell me I just HAD to get my son to visit the college group....they have gone all out with fog machines and all kinds of things to attrack the kids!
I said...you mean a "club" atmosphere to attrack the kids??????
We're not in Kansas anymore......

ezekiel said...

The scripture is from Rev 2.

imaresistor said...

Todd...

Just a brief question: I read through your article and see that you are complimenting Woodstock on their service you attended with Junior Hill at the helms. However, you say they are PD 365 days a year? Please clarify...I hate to show my ignorance, but I really didn't understand. I have read that Johnny Hunt is PD and big buddies with Rick Warren, Andy Stanley, and the rest of the PD boys. I certainly hope that you are right and that what I have read is incorrect. Help me out here. I'd like to get it straight.

You have a nice blog...I enjoyed browsing through it.

imaresistor said...

gmommy,

I'd say fog machines would be appropriate for PD churches...it would be indicative of the fog they are in. Pray that our young people will see through the heresy of the adults who are in charge of them and who are leading them astray all in the name of trying to keep them around.

gmommy said...

What is so sad is that the young people WANT to be passionate and have depth in their lives....
to have a cause worth dying for!

that's why they keep taking the counterfiet the world offers....

and now the churches!They can tell who and what is authentic sooner than we can sometimes.

toddstarnes.com said...

To: I'm a Resistor:

Well, my family has been attending for years and they say FBC Woodstock is solid. On the day of my visit, we sang "When We All Get to Heaven," "I'll Fly Away," and more than a dozen people walked forward to make decisions.

There was a sweet, sweet spirit in that place.

gmommy said...

Todd.....could you have mentioned some other song???????
We've kinda ODed on that one:)

Rowdy Lynn said...

gmommy said...

What is so sad is that the young people WANT to be passionate and have depth in their lives....
to have a cause worth dying for!

that's why they keep taking the counterfiet the world offers....

and now the churches!They can tell who and what is authentic sooner than we can sometimes.

11:36 PM, July 28, 2007


gmommy, you make a very good point here. And to be quite honest, as a 20 something, I'm a bit bothered by the fact I'm probably the only one out of my age group who's willing to be vocal about the problems and calling bull when I see it. I believe all of the other young adults either think we're all nuts and paranoid, or they know its bull and is afraid to speak up out of fears that leadership will retaliate. Thats what really bothers me the most.

ezekiel said...

An exertpt from the"Doctrine of Nicolaitans"

Can anyone see Coombs....SG or anyone else here?

In the Church, there are some folks who operate by the spirit of the Nicolaitans. They will try to get you to become obligated to them by doing some niceties for you. Don’t fall for the obligation thing. Jesus doesn’t operate through obligation. A box of cookies can be a bribe. A large donation to the Church can cost you way more than it’s worth. Paul told us to give with "simplicity". No strings attached. If someone "gives" you something, don’t get tangled up in all their strings. Others may try to pull "rank" on you. Yes, there are true authorities to submit to. But real authority doesn’t have to pull rank. The Word of God is final authority, not a position or title of some kind. Sometimes an older person will try to pull their age on you. Yes, we must respect our elders, but that does not give them license to take over. If we learn to live by the principles of grace - not works, then we can avoid most Nicolaitan problems. This requires us to remain spiritually sharp.

One of the most obvious Nicolaitan maneuvers is often related directly to the preacher and his pulpit. As men of God, we cannot allow ourselves to misuse our authority by brow beating the people from the platform. Some sermons are simply personal vendettas disguised as "the Word". I have both heard and delivered this kind of thing. If there is a problem with someone, go to that person and confront it. Have the guts to do it right. (Matthew 18:15-17 is our pattern). I have also seen preachers verbally condemn the flock for a lack of service, commitment, evangelism, etc. Our mandate is to EQUIP the Body to do the work. Could it be that preachers are too busy with their programs, agendas, etc. to actually disciple and train up the sons and daughters of God? Is it possible that many preachers have never been equipped themselves? That would account for their inability to equip others. Will our legacy be programs or people? If we aren’t equipping them, then our condemning attitude is probably the result of our own inner frustration. When we start doing all the work of the ministry ourselves, we enter into error. We will also begin to slip in our relationship to Christ. He wants us to disciple others into their calling. Let them do the work of the ministry! Let them preach and minister in all the things of God. Sadly, the typical minister is too wrapped up in his own thing to do so. If we repent and call upon the Lord, He will show us how to equip His people. There is an answer.

Another tell tale sign of a Nicolaitan spirit is the inability of a leader to allow those under him to initiate ministry. Some pastors are able to use the creativity of others, as long as it is channeled in the direction which best serves the pastor’s interests. Autocracy is akin to the doctrine Jesus hates. True leadership is secure enough in Christ to allow and encourage others to initiate their life with God. It is OK to encourage people to follow through with their dreams, even if you are reasonably sure they are going to fail. You should equip them, then let them experience life’s ups and downs. It is better for them to fail than for you to squash their initiative. A mature man of God will simply be there to help pick the person up and encourage him to seek God and go again. Check your own heart. Are you able to get behind someone else’s ministry? Can you support a brother when his vision does not directly relate to yours? We must see the value in the process of a believer initiating their ministry - not just our opinion of whether that ministry is valid or not.

Jesus actually HATES the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. John wrote: "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8b) We must destroy such works and doctrines in our own lives before we can be effective in the Body of Christ. Revelation 2:16 reveals the tactic of Christ to deal with such demonic doctrine: "Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth." We must speak up against the Nicolaitans. u

concernedSBCer said...

GMommy and Lynn: I think the chasm between the two groups is widening. My kids are all college/young adult age and what I see with their myriad of friends is that there is one side that is searching for deeper study and meaning than the PD stuff. There's even a significant movement to go to a more defined, structured, liturgical style of worship (like the Presbyterians and Lutherans- the conservative branches of these denominations of course.) The other side is like you say Lynn.....totally undiscerning and falling away, afraid of being different or incurring the wrath of men as opposed to the wrath of God. 60% of all college students leave the faith they were raised in....and most don't switch denominations. They leave the faith. WHY?????

Ah....that's the question........

gmommy said...

Rowdy L,
Visit River Oaks....don't be worried about strange teaching...just go and see for yourself.
The SS classes you have to choose from will not be by age or group but by the subject being studied....not set up for you to get in a social group.
That takes pressure off.
Couldn't get there this morning but I will be tonight.
You won't have to clap or get "rowdy".
Just drink in God's Word.....try it, bet you'll like it :)

Lin said...

Ez, thanks for the link about the Nicolaitions. The structure we are seeing in churches today just does not resemble what was meant to be in the NT.

facts_only_please said...

The Faith Fine Arts Camp is concluding today with two grand concerts at 3:00pm and 6:00pm this evening at Faith Baptist Church. My wife and I attended the concert last night, and it was one of the most tremendous musicals we have ever seen. The week-long camp was led by the Annie Moses Band.

We recognized many present and former Bellevue kids that were performing, and we even spotted some BBC orchestra members (past and present) playing with the AMB.

These kids played and performed at a level that most adults aspire to reach! They were great! It will be well worth your time to go if you are able.

alphasenior said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
Lynn wrote:

"The numbers don't lie."

Not so sure those didn't. I think 15% for Sunday mornings and 30% for Sunday nights is a generous estimate. Notice they didn't give figures for Wednesday nights.

6:53 PM, July 28, 2007



Attendance for 3 weeks in June, 07

Week of June 3rd:
9:30 AM=3534
11:00AM=2409
6:00PM=995
WED. 6:30PM=556

Week of June 10th:
9:30AM=3461
11:00AM=2665
6:00PM=1800*
WED. 6:30PM=549
*Charles Billingsly Concert

Week of June 17th:
9:30AM=3600
11:00AM=2581
6:00PM=1226
WED. 6:30PM=576

2003 & 2004 average was about 5300 at 9:30 and about 4500 at 11:00

Rowdy Lynn said...

Concernedsbcer said...

The other side is like you say Lynn.....totally undiscerning and falling away, afraid of being different or incurring the wrath of men as opposed to the wrath of God. 60% of all college students leave the faith they were raised in....and most don't switch denominations. They leave the faith. WHY?????

Ah....that's the question........

9:50 AM, July 29, 2007


Concerned, could it be that they see a lot of the hypocrasy that has seeped into the churches? Just look at what we have experienced at Bellevue....a minister molesting his son, pastors saying its wrong, yet allowing the minister to stay on, and all of the do as I say not as I do sermons. Its sad, but I think a lot of kids turn away from the faith because of the hypocrasy in the church.

imaresistor said...

Todd S...

Well...if, in fact, this is true it is music to MY ears!

What about the gospel? Is it solid...or more of the watered down thing we are hearing? Would it be comparable to ...uh...say, John MacArthur. Solid Truth!

Thanks...

BTW...I went to the website but couldn't get in???

toddstarnes.com said...

Resistor:

The gospel was presented clearly and concisely, and it was not watered down.

I just checked my blog and it's up and running. My personal website is down for remodeling.

Interestingly enough, I had the opportunity to meet your former minister of music's son. He was in New York City a few months back and joined a group of us for dinner. What a great guy. His father, too, is a great man. We always enjoyed attending the musical events at BBC.

My family in Mississippi attends a Southern Baptist church in Southaven. Sadly, their church is beginning to show signs of going down the slippery slope that other congregations are venturing down.

imaresistor said...

Todd...

I am sorry...I am not a member of Bellevue. But I do know of whom you speak and totally agree with your assessment.

Just this morning at the church I attend, I received word from a friend who has a daughter attending a Southern Baptist church in Southaven and she said this church is coming apart, etc. Probably the same church. :( It is all in the Bible.

Rowdy Lynn said...

I'm gonna parapharase the famous line from Mel Gibson's Braveheart here but.....



They may take our churches...but they can't take our faith!

Lin said...

http://timmybrister.com/2007/07/26/musings-on-the-ministerial-marketplace/

Excellent article about ministers and the marketplace. Ministry as a career?

Yuri G. Yancy said...

What a wonderful service by the Senior High Choir tonight. It made me think about Bellevue of old. Thank you Ken for your leadership.

gmommy said...

Where did everyone got to church today......

Why do the jon's and Why and BT's care anymore about our little blog????

Why do we always have to be on moderation now????

MOM4 said...

gmommy said...
Where did everyone got to church today......

Why do the jon's and Why and BT's care anymore about our little blog????

Why do we always have to be on moderation now????

12:23 AM, July 30, 2007

GMommy,
We had the pleasure of attending Ellendale. Their new pastor's first day is not until the 19th, so we listened to a wonderful message on integrity and character from Steve McCalister who is on staff at Kirby Woods. He attended MABTS and the Master's College (John MacArthur.
The music was not what we were used to but there was no swaying and rocking out by any means and my husband didn't mind the contemporary slant although I would prefer a more traditional pace. The words were on the screen instead of using the hymn books, but the books were there and the hymn numbers were in the bulletin.
If you go online and listed to last weeks sermon by their new pastor, you will note that he was always at Bellevue when he was in town - just to have the blessing of hearing Dr Rogers - says something for the man. He spoke very highly of the Rogers leadership at BBC and the SBC.
There was NO holding hands across the aisle, which is a turn off when the pastor "tells" everyone to do it like he (SG) is controlling the scene - not to say it isn't done on occassion, which is normal for almost any church.
As for why the trolls are still here - they are our tormenters - sent by Satan to buffet us. They will get their due justice by the hand of God at the appointed time.

JMO

BBC 11yrs said...

Todd,

In you blog post "A new way of doing Church" you bring up some very good points which need to be addressed. I am in agreement with you. I would like to bring into consideration the seeker sensitive agenda of the pop culture churches. I heard a SBC evangelist say some years ago say that we need to stop being seeker sensitive and once again become Savior sensitive.

Then he went on to say that this not only applies to the new churches popping up in communities across America but to our traditional churches which have become seeker sensitive and they don't even know it.

I pondered these words for about a week, trying to comprehend what the man was saying. I then looked at my own church, at all the things I love, at all the ministries we do and at all to people we reach. Then I saw it. I saw that my church was a seeker sensitive church.

Before anyone misunderstands me, I want everyone to know that my church (BBC) was open to all who want to come and worship Jesus. We were friendly, welcoming and pleasant. We loved each other greatly.

Yet, there is a portion of our community which does not fit our mold, our structure, our style. We have also not moved towards reaching this part of the community and it is my thinking, through observation, that we have mentally said that if anyone wants to come here, they need to be like us. Thus, in a sense, seeker sensitive.

I guess my point is, the new pop culture type churches are doing church in a way that is different to us and we are uncomfortable with this. We need to be careful though because not all of these churches are watering down the gospel. Not all churches which have, as an example, creative movement (dancing, which I do not do and don't like to watch) are not being antithetical to scripture.

I wish all churches could do all things to reach all people, but I don't know how we can. If BBC is going to do church one way (and I hope we don't continue to change what was not broken), then we ought to at least support those ministries and churches which reach a portion of the population which will never consider BBC a church to attend.

Take a look at Jay Bakker's (son of Jim and Tammy) web site and read through his stuff. I was blessed. He will reach the non-traditional for Christ. I don't think I would be comfortable attending the church he leads but I praise God for His reaching many for Jesus.

concernedSBCer said...

11+: I, and several on this blog, have been in both seeker-sensitive churches and traditional. In my opinion, other than the watering down of scripture and teaching, the hardest thing to overcome is the lack of reverence to our Holy God. It's kind of like just about anyone can have kids, but it's a whole other ballgame to be a parent. Going to church is one thing but worshipping and growing is something else all together.

BBC 11yrs said...

"As for why the trolls are still here - they are our tormenters - sent by Satan to buffet us. They will get their due justice by the hand of God at the appointed time."

Don't you think this is a bit harsh?

I have been lurking for a while and finally decided to post. I thought it might be interesting.

I did a search on this thread and it does not show those you name have posted. Maybe the site administrator can tell us if they are submitting anything to be published.

BBC 11yrs said...

" concernedSBCer said...

11+: I, and several on this blog, have been in both seeker-sensitive churches and traditional. In my opinion, other than the watering down of scripture and teaching, the hardest thing to overcome is the lack of reverence to our Holy God. It's kind of like just about anyone can have kids, but it's a whole other ballgame to be a parent. Going to church is one thing but worshipping and growing is something else all together.

8:54 AM, July 30, 2007 "

I agree with your last statement completely yet I want to be careful because we do church differently than it was done in previous generations. We have added our personal taste to the mix. We do things in our traditional worship services that our grand parents and their parents would gasp at as they were calling us heretics. I just want us to be careful not to say there is only one way to worship Christ and it is our way.

The watering down of the message is a different thing all together but again I would encourage each of us not to paint with to broad a brush when speaking of things different to us.

Not all contemporary , hand raising, amen shouting, swaying to the music is wrong.

While traveling last year I had the privilege to attend Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and in my opinion, they know how to worship.

concernedSBCer said...

11+: If you have been lurking for a while, you will know who some of the "trolls" are. Some are just misguided and some are vicious. They verbally attack and several have threatened physical attacks, even naming our children in several cases. However, we have learned, and try VERY hard, NOT to feed the trolls. That's all they want...to come here and disrupt. They have posted and stalked an unbelieveable amount.

Those truthseekers that post regularly here are a hurting and searching bunch that hold to the Word passionately. They demand accountability for actions and integrity within leadership.

Apparently some people don't like that.

concernedSBCer said...

11+: We aren't talking culture here. We are talking reverence. Worship is not for us; it's for God. It's not about showing how holy we might be, it's about acknowledging how Holy He is.

Earlier you said something that was crucial to this discussion of culture: no one should judge how others worship. EXACTLY. I am so tired of being told I'm NOT worshipping because I want to use a hymnbook, pray silently, and sit still. "Be still and know that I am God." Ps. 46:10

MOM4 said...

BBC11,
I apologize for offending you with my statement. The reason that you do not see posts from those individuals is because they had to be deleted for various reasons, some were downright ugly. If you had ever been a victim of their assaults, you would understand my harshness. Again, I apologize for offending you.

New BBC Open Forum said...

bbc 11 wrote:

"I did a search on this thread and it does not show those you name have posted. Maybe the site administrator can tell us if they are submitting anything to be published."

Of the three posters mentioned, BT ("billie") has posted on this thread and on others under other screen names ("seekinghiswill" and "hisunseenhand"). Ms. Billie's more like comic relief than a troll. Jon hasn't posted on this thread but posted numerous comments on the last few threads. Jon was more like a thorn in the side at first but took on troll-like characteristics with his trying to pick fights and argue with everyone. "Why" is a troll (and apparently a BBC deacon) and has been banned. When comment moderation is off, his "hate-filled" comments are immediately deleted. When it's on, they are filtered directly into a special folder so I don't even have to see them.

Only one of BT's and one of Jon's posts have not been posted. In both cases there were specific reasons I explained in a previous thread, and none of their comments have been deleted (at least by me) once they were posted.

"Don't you think this is a bit harsh?"

While those probably wouldn't have been the words I would have chosen, you'll have to take that up with the person who wrote them. Did you not think it was a lot more harsh to call people "trash" and "skunks rummaging for food in garbage cans"? I thought "tormenter" was pretty accurate. Whether they were "sent by Satan" is not something I'd ever profess to know.

MOM4 said...

Hey NASS,
Regarding the "tormenters" being sent by Satan. The Lord may have allowed it, but He does not torment us for our scriptural beliefs, but Satan surely does. He is the father of dissention and discord among the brethern.

New BBC Open Forum said...

mom,

I just meant that maybe they came of their own free will -- did they necessarily have to be "sent"? :-)

New BBC Open Forum said...

Or maybe...

socwork said...

Take a look at Jay Bakker's (son of Jim and Tammy) web site and read through his stuff. I was blessed. He will reach the non-traditional for Christ. I don't think I would be comfortable attending the church he leads but I praise God for His reaching many for Jesus.

Not to hijack this thread, but I wanted to say a quick word about Jay Bakker. He is definitely reaching the "non-traditional" as you say, but what is he reaching them with? I'm not so sure it's Jesus.

He's welcoming the homosexual community into his church and telling them it's ok to be gay and Christian at the same time. One of his best friends, who just officiated his mother's private family ceremony at her death is a gay pastor. His former co-pastor was interviewed on Jay's documentary on Sundance (which was really interesting, if you haven't seen it) as saying Romans 1 was just grossly mistranslated, to justify their position on the gay community.

So Jay is definitely connecting with people, but it doesn't sound to me like he's connecting them with the Gospel. JMO

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