Friday, September 04, 2009

Your Tax and Tithe Dollars at Work

For the second year (I suppose that establishes it as a "tradition" now) Bellevue has played host to at least two Shelby County and Memphis City School teacher in-service days in the church auditorium and fellowship hall. Last year's meetings were described here and in this comment from a teacher who attended:

I am a Shelby County teacher and former Bellevue member who attended our system-wide inservice at Bellevue on August 7. I was shocked that this inservice was allowed at Bellevue. A SCEA/TEA/NEA representative was allowed to speak and encourage membership from the pulpit! I never remember anyone from SCEA speaking at inservices in the past. But this year they were allowed and in a Baptist Church! I belong to the CEAI, Chrisian Educators Association International, and they are never allowed to openly encourage membership.

There was also a comic skit put on by a group of four (can't remember the group's name), paid for with our tax money. In the skit which lasted about 30 minutes, there was a joke about Chippendales, Sex Ed class, someone's rear end, and a slur against McCain, and all of this was from the pulpit!

And to top it off, there were merchants selling jewelry, clothing, purses, etc. in the lobby!

I can't believe this hasn't been discussed more, made the news, newspaper, etc. My heart was broken that Bellevue has veered so far from the conservative leadership of Dr. Rogers. Does anyone at Bellevue not remember the stance he took against the liberal NEA and what they stood for? This was just unbelievable!

August 16, 2008

More discussion followed
here beginning with the above, about the 12th comment down. (Sorry, permalinks don't appear to be working for that page.)

One would think after receiving criticism such as this that the church administration would either suggest the schools find another place to meet or at the very least set down some guidelines. However, that doesn't appear to be the case. After all, we wouldn't want to insult our guests by expecting them to adhere to certain standards, would we?

I received the following letter from the same Shelby County teacher last week with a request that I post it on the blog.

I am a Shelby County teacher and this is our second year to meet at Bellevue Baptist Church. I am ashamed to say I was ever a member of Bellevue. Today Phil Newberry welcomed the teachers and staff to Bellevue. Instead of having prayer for the 2010-2011 teachers and staff, he had a "moment of silence" as he stood under a banner that says, "My house shall be a house of prayer." I had a lot of respect for Phil Newberry but after today, I have lost it. Was he too embarrassed to have prayer or did he succumb to pressure from the school board that he only have a moment of silence?

Once again the SCEA president stood behind the pulpit to drum up support for the SCEA. And to think that some of the members' dues go to support the liberal NEA. On many occasions Dr. Rogers stood behind the same pulpit and told the congregation about the NEA's liberal agenda. They are in support of legalized abortions and homosexual rights, just to mention a few. They are one of the largest and most powerful lobbyist groups in Washington, D.C.

And then the speaker. I could not believe that he was allowed to speak in Bellevue's pulpit. He made a joke that some students were so bad that teachers might be tempted to smoke crack! He joked that teachers smoking crack probably had not been talked about in a Baptist church before! His talk was full of sexual innuendoes and other conversation that should not have been spoken from the pulpit.

As I was walking through the parking lot to my car, I heard 4 men talking about the speaker. I overheard one of them say to one of the other men that the speaker wasn't boring but he was close to forgetting that he was in a church and not in a nightclub. I don't know whether these men were Christians or not but they knew that this man should not be allowed behind the pulpit of the church.

I was embarrassed, angry, and hurt that Bellevue has strayed so far from the principles of God's word. The leadership of Bellevue will have to answer to God for compromising the Word of God.

August 29, 2009

Before someone trots out Matthew 18 as an example of how this situation should have been handled (which would not apply in this case anyway), the teacher stated she did write Phil Newberry but got no response.

Is this an indirect, if inadvertent, endorsement of the NEA by Bellevue Baptist Church?

The following resolution was passed at this year's NEA convention:

In implementation of the foregoing policies, the Representative Assembly adopts the following action plan with regard to same-sex couples:

1. NEA will support its affiliates seeking to enact state legislation that guarantees to same-sex couples the right to enter into a legally recognized relationship pursuant to which they have the same rights and benefits as similarly-situated heterosexual couples, including, without limitation, rights and benefits with regard to medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, and immigration.

2. NEA does not believe that a single term must be used to designate this legally recognized "equal treatment" relationship, and recommends that each state decide for itself whether "marriage," "civil union," "domestic partnership," or some other term is most appropriate based upon the cultural, social, and religious values of its citizenry.

3. NEA will support its affiliates in opposing state constitutional and/or statutory provisions that could have the effect of prohibiting the state and its political subdivisions from providing the same rights and benefits to same-sex couples as are provided to similarly-situated heterosexual couples.

4. NEA will take such actions as may be appropriate to support efforts to (a) repeal any federal legislation and/or regulations that discriminate against same-sex couples, and (b) enact federal legislation and/or regulations that treat same-sex couples and similarly-situated heterosexual couples equally with regard to social security, health care, taxation, and other federal rights and benefits.

5. NEA recognizes that the term "marriage" has religious connotations and that same-sex marriages may not be compatible with the beliefs, values, and/or practices of certain religions. Because of its support for the separation of church and state and the right to religious freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, NEA supports the right of religious institutions to refuse to perform or recognize same-sex marriages.

Sounds an awful lot like the original form of the Shelby County Commission ordinance that Steve Gaines was so vocal in protesting, doesn't it?

Here is a list of NEA resolutions from 2007-2008. Even a cursory reading of this document will give you an idea of some of the agendas promoted by this organization which are contrary to what most Baptists believe. Here are but three examples:

1. Racism, Sexism, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identification Discrimination

The National Education Association believes in the equality of all individuals. Discrimination and stereotyping based on such factors as race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, disability, ethnicity, immigration status, occupation, and religion must be eliminated.

The Association also believes that these factors should not affect the legal rights and obligations of the partners in a legally recognized domestic partnership, civil union, or marriage in regard to matters involving the other partner, such as medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, and immigration.

The Association further believes that plans, activities, and programs for education employees, students, parents/guardians, and the community should be developed to identify and eliminate discrimination and stereotyping in all educational settings. Such plans, activities, and programs must:

a. Increase respect, understanding, acceptance, and sensitivity toward individuals and groups in a diverse society composed of such groups as American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered persons, and people with disabilities

b. Eliminate discrimination and stereotyping in curricula, textbooks, resource and instructional materials, activities, etc.

c. Foster the dissemination and use of nondiscriminatory and nonstereotypical language, resources, practices, and activities

d. Eliminate institutional discrimination

e. Integrate an accurate portrayal of the roles and contributions of all groups throughout history across curricula, particularly groups that have been underrepresented historically

f. Identify how prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination have limited the roles and contributions of individuals and groups, and how these limitations have challenged and continue to challenge our society

g. Eliminate subtle practices that favor the education of one student over another on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, disability, ethnicity, or religion

h. Encourage all members of the educational community to examine assumptions and prejudices, including, but not limited to, racism, sexism, and homophobia, that might limit the opportunities and growth of students and education employees

i. Offer positive and diverse role models in our society, including the recruitment, hiring, and promotion of diverse education employees in our public schools

j. Coordinate with organizations and concerned agencies that promote the contributions, heritage, culture, history, and special health and care needs of diverse population groups

k. Promote a safe and inclusive environment for all.

2. Diversity

The National Education Association believes that a diverse society enriches all individuals.

Similarities and differences among race, ethnicity, color, national origin, language, geographic location, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, age, physical ability, size, occupation, and marital, parental, or economic status form the fabric of a society.

The Association also believes that education should foster the values of appreciation and acceptance of the various qualities that pertain to people as individuals and as members of diverse populations.

The Association further believes in the importance of observances, programs, and curricula that accurately portray and recognize the roles, contributions, cultures, and history of these diverse groups and individuals.

The Association encourages affiliates and members to become part of programs and observances that may include cultural and heritage celebrations and/or history months.

3. Home Schooling

The National Education Association believes that home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience. When home schooling occurs, students enrolled must meet all state curricular requirements, including the taking and passing of assessments to ensure adequate academic progress. Home schooling should be limited to the children of the immediate family, with all expenses being borne by the parents/guardians. Instruction should be by persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency, and a curriculum approved by the state department of education should be used.

The Association also believes that home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools.

The Association further believes that local public school systems should have the authority to determine grade placement and/or credits earned toward graduation for students entering or re-entering the public school setting from a home school setting.

I will leave it to the teacher above and others to show the NEA supports legalized abortion.

And I will ask the administration of Bellevue to prayerfully consider if this is the sort of program they think reflects favorably on the church and its mission.

Love God
Love People
Share Jesus
Make Disciples

Exactly how does lending your pulpit to a "nightclub act" accomplish that?


New BBC Open Forum said...

Speaking of organizations that support legalized abortion, let's not forget the NAACP and the Juneteenth banquet honoring their 100th anniversary that was held in BBC's fellowship hall on June 12th of this year.

gopher said...

Maybe this fits in the "Love People" category


Love Memphis

Love Arlington

Love thy Pastor

With attendance and givings down, other "Love" events are need to fill in the gaps.

Who cares what they do or believe in.


MOM4 said...

Just more moneychangers in the temple. Nothing new for BBC nowadays.

32yrs@bbc said...

I read this with a broken heart. I am no longer at BBC but was blessed to be a part of its rich heritage for many years. "How the mighty have fallen." Those were David's words in his grief over the deaths of Saul and Jonathan. Sadly, those same words can be said in our grief over BBC and how far it has fallen spiritually from where it once was.

drstevej said...


New BBC Open Forum said...

Someone asked for some links to information that illustrates the NEA's pro-abortion stance.

Baptist Press > NEA pushing homosexual agenda in public schools

I Choose Charity > Promoting Abortion

National Right to Life > Teachers Protest NEA's Ties to Pro-Abortion March

Professional Educators of Tennessee > NEA is not Pro-Abortion > National Education Association Defeats Measure to Take Neutral Abortion Stance

Students for Life > A Letter to the NEA from Pro-Life Teachers > Teachers Dissatisfied with Pro-Abortion, Homosexualist NEA Turn to Ethical Alternatives

Excellent rebuttal to the NEA's claim they're not pro-abortion:

Pregnant Pause > The National Education Association's Even-Handed Abortion Policy

New BBC Open Forum said...

I'd never thought about it until our teacher friend mentioned all three of these organizations in one sentence. From the SCEA website:

SCEA is the local education professional organization for Shelby County Schools employees. SCEA is affiliated with the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) and the National Education Association (NEA). When an employee joins one of the organizations, he/she joins all three of the organizations.

So you can't "opt out" of joining one. It's all or nothing.

And from the TEA website:

NEA Membership = Service, Professionalism, Advocacy

Advocacy for whom? Certainly not the unborn!

W said...

Why would anyone in their right mind want to attend your church much less be a member? I'm sure Adrian Rogers is turning over in his grave.

New BBC Open Forum said...


Please make your profile visible if you want to continue to comment.

gopher said...

Steve Gaines could care less what happens at Bellevue anymore as he chooses to leave the pulpit to others, as he pursues his own agenda elsewhere.

Absent 8 30 2009PM (pulpit filled by Gray Allison

Absent 9 6 2009PM (pulpit filled by Joe Jernigan)

Will be absent 9 9 2009PM also? as he will be vacationing "Here?"

or how about:

The Beast Feast -
September 17, to kick off our fall semester of Men’s Fraternity “The Great Adventure”, we will host a wild game dinner. We are asking all the men to bring their favorite exotic or wild game dish for everyone to sample. You can bring more than one dish. Dr. Steve Gaines, from Bellevue Baptist Church will be our guest speaker. There will be “manly” door prizes and give-a-ways. You will not want to miss out on this night of “Man verses Beast” and the fun and fellowship.


New BBC Open Forum said...


You want the honor???

New BBC Open Forum said...

I thought it was another internet hoax when someone sent me an e-mail about this. It's not. Barack Obama couldn't be bothered with the National Day of Prayer. Word is he may attend this event though.

Junkster said...

Men men men men,
Manly men!
Oo hoo hoo, hoo hoo, oo!

Dianna said...

50,000 Muslims to meet on Capitol Hill for worship and prayer? Does that send cold chills up anyone else's spine?

New BBC Open Forum said...

{raises hand}

Junkster said...

Totally off topic...

I just came across a blog I think is hilarious, called Stuff Christians Like.

I really enjoyed one on a topic I have commented on before:
#158. Calling someone just Pastor instead of their first name.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Thanks for that link, junk. I'm in agreement with most of the commenters.

The guy has a Top 500 List, and he's added over 100 more which can be found in the archives on the righthand side of the page. Funny stuff!

I've added the link to his blog on the front page.

Junkster said...

Thanks for adding the link. I plan to read from his archives as I have time. I believe some of his posts are being complied into a book. The post about using "Pastor" as a name is old, but I just added my own comment there.

Junkster said...

Back to the topic...

Does BBC charge the county or city for the use of BBC facilities for these meetings?

BkWormGirl said...

This explains some FB comments today...

It is of no surprise to anyone with even a baby dose of discernment that the NEA is anti-christian in every way possible. It is equally beyond what any discerning person can fathom that SG would allow or desire for "his church" to be affiliated with this group.

SG is a confusing little booger... Pro - Abortion group, Anti - Homosexual? I think that is right.

Junkster said...

Could this be part of the problem?

Senior Pastor Syndrome

gopher said...

Bellevue Baptist Church Makes Front Page News in the "Commercial Appeal"

But in the "Bellevue Today" you'll find these admonitions as the Commercial Appeal was set to do this article:

"Sit Down Front During 11:11 Worship
Please sit on the main floor as close to the front as possible during the 11:11 Worship Service to help create a warm, worshipful atmosphere."

And Here

"Our services are videotaped for television and public distribution. By sitting in the front sections you are authorizing your image to be used for this purpose.
If you do not wish to have your image recorded, please sit in the sections behind the center cameras."

The 11:11 people have no choice

Excerpts from the Commercial Appeal article:

"I was in the staff meeting when Adrian Rogers announced he was retiring (after 32 years in the pulpit)," said Jim Barnwell, director of communications. "He said it was time for a younger man to lead Bellevue Church, and I think music is one of the things implied in that."

Minister of music Mark Blair called the last four years at Bellevue a "journey ...a time of assessing and evaluating, and a time of grieving a beloved pastor."

"It's also a time of changing and growing," Blair said. "Has that time been without challenges? Absolutely not. Has everybody embraced that? Absolutely not."

Steve Gaines a young man? He's 51 and always taking about dying...


Been Redeemed said...

Gopher said (from the CA):
"I was in the staff meeting when Adrian Rogers announced he was retiring (after 32 years in the pulpit)," said Jim Barnwell, director of communications. "He said it was time for a younger man to lead Bellevue Church, and I think music is one of the things implied in that."

"IMPLIED" - I think Dr Rogers was just stating that someone younger than he was to take his place, not some punk-rap-loving-whinny goofball"

Minister of music Mark Blair called the last four years at Bellevue a "journey ...a time of assessing and evaluating, and a time of grieving a beloved pastor."

The grieving was over the loss of leadership, the loss of the light of Jesus that Dr Rogers brought to the pulpit every time he stood behind it. Blair hasn't been there long enough to have a clue.

"It's also a time of changing and growing," Blair said. "Has that time been without challenges? Absolutely not. Has everybody embraced that? Absolutely not."

Those who would not tolerate sin in the pulpit have left. Those who remain are tolerating it - the sin that is. What is really scary is that some are loving it.

Steve Gaines a young man? He's 51 and always taking about dying...

...we do need to cleanse the temple.