Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Serving the Body or Serving Steve Gaines?
It's deacon nomination time again, and the qualifications have been outlined in this insert from the July 1st Bellevue Today.
It seems a few things have been added to the Scriptural qualifications -- such as adherence to the BF&M 2000 (which our pastor had a large role in penning) and "lifting up the hands of the pastor," the latter being a variation of the wording in the infamous "deacon loyalty oath" that apparently died on the vine. That letter, which all the deacons were requested (required?) to sign, but which many refused, read as follows:
At the conclusion of our Deacons meeting that followed the evening service, all who were present unanimously approved the following motion:
"The 2006 active Deacon Body of Bellevue Baptist Church met November 5th after the evening service and unanimously approved the following motion. We the active Deacon Body of Bellevue Baptist Church wish to convey to our Church family our affirmation of Dr. Steve Gaines as God’s appointed and God’s anointed Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church. We commit ourselves before God and our Church family to serve with loyalty under his leadership and to free him up to do the work to which God has called him to do. We publicly demonstrate our loyalty to Pastor Gaines by signing our name to this motion and standing before the Church congregation in each of the morning worship services on November 19, 2006."
Over the next few days, each Vice Chairman will be calling the men in their group to go over the motion and answer any questions. The motion requires each Deacon to sign his name to the motion indicating his public approval of the motion, so please go to the Events Registration Center to sign it. If you have any reservations in signing this motion, please discuss it with your Vice Chairman. I want to reiterate that every Deacon that was present in the Deacons meeting following the service unanimously approved this motion, with the understanding they were to sign it and to stand before the congregation on November 19th. Our congregation needs to know where the Deacons stand during these challenging days.
Steve Gaines has stated that he is not accountable to the deacon body. Therefore, it appears "service," as outlined in these qualifications, is a one-way street. We have many fine men serving as deacons, and certainly not all bow to the "demands" of the pastor, but some do.
You may recall the letter from Charles and Pam Gremillion to the deacons and some of the deacons' responses.
Now the "Pastor's Pit Crew," a group of children who have volunteered to pray for the pastor, have received their first assignment. Praying for the pastor is something we all should do. That's not the point. However, maybe it's "just me," but this sounds a little too much like loyalty to a man.