This is a continuation of the previous thread.
On Sunday, November 5, 2006, there was a marathon BBC deacons' meeting that started in the afternoon, recessed for the evening service (which was followed by the second "information meeting" where we were told how the deacons had "reviewed" the credit card receipts and determined that the pastor had done nothing wrong), then resumed after the service and didn't end until around 11:00 p.m.
Here is a clarification of what transpired during this meeting and afterwards which resulted in the deacon loyalty oath:
1. Near the end of the approximately 6-hour meeting, an idea (not a formal motion) was proposed which referenced supporting the pastor. This was thought by many deacons to simply mean "support" as in prayer, service to the body, etc., not blindly "swallowing and following" the pastor no matter what and certainly not agreeing to signing a statement that, to many members, had all the appearance of pledging an oath to a man. In any case, it was this idea regarding support of the pastor which was passed unanimously (meaning there were no dissenting votes) by those who remained in the meeting. As one deacon put it, after spending nearly six hours in that emotionally-charged, grueling, frustrating, heart-wrenching meeting, he would have agreed to almost anything just so the meeting could be adjourned.
2. A few days later the deacon body received an e-mail containing the "loyalty oath" as reprinted in the previous topic heading. For many deacons, this motion hardly resembled the simple "support" motion voted on in the meeting, and all the deacons were being required to sign it. Yet no one could remember that motion being read word for word at the meeting. However, deacon chairman Chuck Taylor stated in his e-mail that all who were present unanimously approved this motion.
3. It was later learned from some of the deacon officers that the final wording of the motion was drafted after the meeting. Apparently, the deacons' meeting was taped and the opinions and viewpoints expressed by certain deacons that evening were used as a basis for the final wording of the motion. Those supporting the motion claimed this represented the "spirit" of the original motion that was voted on in the meeting. This is where a number of deacons disagreed, and they did not sign the oath. In fact, only about 80 of the 180-plus deacons signed it. Many serious concerns had been expressed during the meeting, and it was felt these were completely ignored by those who drafted this new motion.
4. Finally, Chuck Taylor announced that the deacon officers had decided not to bring the motion to the congregation that following Sunday but to postpone it until a later time. By the way, Mr. Taylor, it's been over 8 months now, and we're still waiting....
Questions to ask:
1. Why was the wording of the motion finalized after the meeting and then claimed in an e-mail sent to the deacons that it was unanimously approved at the earlier meeting of the deacon body? Should not this finalized version of the motion have been brought back to the deacon body for discussion and a proper vote?
2. Was the objective to try and intimidate the deacons who had serious concerns about various issues into signing a document that was considered by many to be a clear violation of Scripture?
3. What authority did the officers have to postpone a motion they claimed had been voted on unanimously by all the deacons (we know it wasn't)? What's the point of voting on motions at deacons' meetings if the officers can rewrite or postpone them later?
4. What was the real reason the officers decided to postpone the motion? Was it because of the positive feedback taking place between the Communications Committee and various groups and individuals in the church as they claimed, or was there another reason?
5. Who all was involved in drafting the loyalty oath?
Concerned members are encouraged to contact deacons who remained until the end of this meeting to see if their version of these events matches those here.