Saturday, November 04, 2006

E-mail Exchange Between Deacons on Biblical Authority

The following is a series of letters, the first two from deacon Robert Teutsch to some unidentified but concerned Bellevue members.

Letter #1 and Letter #2 are here.

Letter #3 which is here was written by Mr. Alvin Ellis, longtime Bellevue member and now inactive deacon to Robert Teutsch after Mr. Ellis received copies of Mr. Teutsch's two letters.

Letter #4 (immediately below) was Mr. Teutsch's reply, in its entirety, to Mr. Ellis.

From: Robert Teutsch
To: Alvin Ellis
Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 8:01 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Letter: Bellevue Stuff

This is where you and I disagree.

Letter #5 which is here is the letter Mr. Ellis sent to each member of the deacon body.

Mr. Ellis has given his express permission to publish his letters here, and Mr. Teutsch gave his permission to the unidentified recipients to "pass [them] on to anyone else who may be seeking truth in this situation."

Mr. Ellis has shared with me some statistics regarding the replies he's received from deacons to his letter. So far he's received 11 e-mail responses. Two disagreed with Mr. Teutsch. The rest didn't say they disagreed, so he says he assumed (based upon the instructions in his letter) that they agreed with Mr. Teutsch. He characterized them as ranging from "harsh" to "can't-we-just-all-get-along." He says he's received several positive verbal responses and one "rather harsh" verbal response. Some of the specific responses (sans names) will be posted later.

88 comments:

Lwood said...

Whoooh!!!!!!!!!!!!What some comments from a Deacon of Bellevue Baptist Church!!!!!Unbeliveable and they wonder why they only have a few guestions submitted to them.I'm going to pray and unless the Lord leads otherwise I will not be at church service in the morning. I don't think I call listen with an open heart to these leaders. It seems they are the only CHRISTIANS in the house....

allofgrace said...

"What is really going to be the pits for them is when they sit before God's judgment one day, and God points to the souls in hell because of them because of this."

Jeremiah 31: 29-30..."In those days people will no longer say, 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.' Instead, everyone will die for his own sin; whoever eats sour grapes--his own teeth will be set on edge."

You're entitled to your thoughts, feelings, and opinions...but maintain some doctrinal integrity..this is the second time I've heard this same remark in so many words...once from the pulpit..now from a deacon.

New BBC Open Forum said...

lwood,

Before you make that decision final, please read the 7:32 p.m. comment from "ezekiel" in the "New Finance Thread." You may want to reconsider.

NASS

Ck said...

I think Dr. Rogers should be called something other than Adrian after all his years of service.
I'm sure this was a way of driving a talking point home.
The deacons that have been without
basic convictions should have never been voted in. How can we be sure in the future how a deacon views little things like lying?
I always thought any deacon would be respectful when dealing with the body. I am afraid to contact anyone after seeing the way all these people are being treated.

Tim said...

Perhaps we should consider becoming a Muslim church, because after all they are the fastest growing demomination on earth.

Or perhaps we should look at all the things that Jim Baker did with PTL to see how we could do the same. Afer all it was an incredibly prosperous and growing ministry at one time.

I would expect that the folks at the church of Haggard in Colorado should look to us for leadership. You know, no big deal because every thing is going so great. It really doesn't matter what your leadership does as long as you can prove your growth.

Of course I personally don't believe this, but apparantly there are some members of our deacon body that do. It seems to be the opinion of that particular group of deacons to accuse any that will not go along to get along of being the sultans of satan.

I have been increasingly sceptical of our deacon body and after this tirade, have completely lost confidence in all but a handful that I personally know are more interested in our church body than church politics. There are also a handful that I personally know that have satisfied themselves with digging their heels in and then firmly placing their head as deeply into the sand as they can. Why? Because, they really don't want to know and really don't care. How pathetic can that possibly be?

It appears to me that our problems are much deeper than I had originally thought.

I am also convinced more than ever that, "NO", I will not leave this church. It is in desperate need of those that love and fear God more than man. I have been here for over 25 years and will not leave unless directed by the Lord. Those of you who are not happy about that can show yourselves to the door. Your arrogance is only exceeded by your ignorance.

I would love to have faith in our leaders, but this is beyond belief.

I can not express more at this moment, because I feel that my outrage over this ridiculous commentary has overcome me.

I will say this in closing. Mr. Tuesch, expose all of those that have in good faith tried to work with this administration and deacon body as the venomous group that you believe and you will be in for an extremely rude awakening to find out what a small minority you represent. You have no business representing our church body with your vicious attitude.

New BBC Open Forum said...

cdb,

The name-calling isn't necessary. No reason to stoop to Deacon Teutsch's level.

Whether you agree with Derrick Calcote's opinions or not, at least he's remained civil in his comments. Let's all try to do the same.

NBBCOF

SallySherlock said...

Choice is your,

I appreciate your concerns. However, some of us believe with all our hearts our church is in dire trouble. We can see no more important use of our time. If your home was burning you wouldn't take Sunday off before putting out the fire.

MOM4 said...

We have a malignancy in our midst. It is greed, arrogance, pride and the lust for power.
If it is not removed, Bellevue will die.
I am so thankful that the church is the Lord's people and not the leadership's people. We will survive even if Bellevue does succumb to this cancer.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I need to correct something I wrote earlier this afternoon. I wrote:

"They announced at the end of this morning's service that the time of this afternoon's deacons' meeting had been moved from 4:00 to 3:00. Sounds like they're planning on doing some extra deacin'.

"I'm just wondering if Mr. Teutsch's reference to heads rolling (my words) at today's meeting was real or just him blowing smoke. Guess we'll find out soon enough."


It later occurred to me, and someone kindly pointed it out as well, that Mr. Teutsch's letter, in which he referred to "calling out" the "evil men" in the upcoming deacons' meeting was dated September 10th. Therefore, he was not referring to today's deacons' meeting. I have removed my original comment and apologize for any confusion I may have caused.

The first part of my statement was true. They did bump the meeting up to 3:00 from 4:00. And I suppose this also answers my question. The answer is (b) it was just Mr. Teutsch blowing smoke.

MOM4 said...

Choice,
I can understand what you are saying about not wanting to participate on the Lord's day. However, I want to ask you a question about the meeting this afternoon and later tonight. When the type of deacon's meeting as described in Mr. Teusch's letters is waiting in the wings, I can only grieve and cry out to the Lord to deliver these men who are about to be attacked again. I have been constant in prayer today, I cannot listen to Steve Gaines at all, he is offensive in my spirit. The man has his own self interest at heart and he is leading others who are blindly following. The meeting should be starting right about now, I am sick with grief and burdened for these men who are being defamed and mocked by their fellow deacons. Should THIS meeting be taking place on the Lord's day? Should Steve GAines have scheduled the Lord's Supper following such a meeting, while grief is in the hearts of the people over the assaults he is making?
I have talked to others who are deacons, pastors and teachers, some out of state and some local and they as well as I are suspect of the motives of anyone who would willingly partake of the Lord's supper following such a meeting where they attack and remove their fellow christian brothers because of blind leadership following a man of questionable character and integrity.
This is a dark day for Bellevue, not a new beginning.

upside down said...

Just happened to be in the church this afternoon showing visitors around. It appears that they are planning to utilizes some words from Dr. Rogers to convey to the deacons this afternoon. The sound check and video was both Dr. Rogers. Pretty good way to stifle any descending opinion before a meeting.

MOM4 said...

Of course Steve Gaines and leadership will use what ever means necessary to "quiet" anyone who opposes him. That is his custom. Anyone in his former churches who has questioned him has been verbally assaulted and vilified before being "run off".
When and if Chuck Taylor and company ever wake up, they will realize that their dream positions will actually be nightmares. I am praying for the deacons who will be willing to make a stand for integrity in this meeting.

allofgrace said...

choice_is_yours,
Thank you for your wise words. God gave us the Sabbath as a day of rest..holy unto the Lord. Just a few of my favorite passages:

Isaiah 43:1-3: "...Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;..."

Php 4:8 "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

John 14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

MOM4 said...

All of Grace,
I appreciate your use of scripture, those particular verses were a comfort to me.
I still feel the deep need to pray for these men with the utmost urgency.
Thank you for the prayerful thoughtfulness you put into your post.

New BBC Open Forum said...

sippet wrote:

"This blog has taken an "in house" problem and broadcast it to the world."

Much the same way Dr. Gaines took it and broadcast it to a sister congregation in Union City or to any visitors present in the 9/24 evening service at Bellevue?

"My family and I have missed out on an opportunity to hear Dr. Gaines preach because of all the in fighting that has occurred."

I'm sorry. When was that? I'm clueless as to why the issues at Bellevue would prevent someone from hearing Dr. Gaines preach. He's here most Sundays and quite often speaks at revivals and conventions around the state (and sometimes out) during the week. And if you'd like to watch him live on Sundays, Bellevue's services are broadcast over the internet. (He doesn't preach on Wednesdays although that service is broadcast live, too.) Also, you can watch some of his more recent services and listen to every sermon he's preached since his first Sunday over a year ago. All this is available here.

"My my what in the world would Dr. Rogers say about all this hooey."

Things likely never would have gotten to this point if Dr. Rogers were here. He wouldn't have participated in or condoned all the "hooey" we're now seeing from some in our church leadership.

I join choice_is_yours in inviting you to again celebrate Christmas and Easter at Bellevue. I can promise you won't see fist fights in the aisles, most of us don't bite :-), and you and your family will be warmly welcomed!

RM said...

When and if you guys succeed in running off Steve Gaines (and noone would blame him for leaving and then shaking the dust off his feet) you will find that it will be IMPOSSIBLE to find another man who is stupid enough to come to Bellevue. Maybe you should start thinking about a woman preacher to replace him...

RM said...

Sorry guys but if you believed in the authority of Scripture this blog would not exist.

New BBC Open Forum said...

rm wrote: "When and if you guys succeed in running off Steve Gaines (and noone would blame him for leaving and then shaking the dust off his feet) you will find that it will be IMPOSSIBLE to find another man who is stupid enough to come to Bellevue. Maybe you should start thinking about a woman preacher to replace him... "

If all you want to do is hurl insults at people who dare ask questions and put women in their place (that was the point, wasn't it?), then please don't take up space with your comments. This forum is for people, regardless of their opinions, to come and have civil discussions with each other. If you have something constructive to contribute, you're more than welcome. Otherwise, please take the advice you've given "us" and just go somewhere else.

NBBCOF

MOM4 said...

NBBCOP,
Could you "shrink" Mr. Tuesch and Ellis posts to a link or some kind of reference, it sure takes a long time to download. Thanks

Tim said...

RM,

If our deacon body were acting on the authority that the scriptures give them, then this blog would not have been necessary. Our deacon body has scripturally been given the authority to handle the financial matters of the church as well as settling disputes among members of the body. However, our deacon body has decided that the matters of the church are not as important as church politics.

Ck said...

Tim... I was thinking about Haggard too. I wonder how many of his members "knew something wasn't right" and made a choice to look the other way. With a church that size, I think it is a shame someone from the "outside" had to exposed him.I would guess that without the audio, he would still be lying and dragging his church behind him.

On Fotf.org Hank Hanergraff has a great article on truth.

New BBC Open Forum said...

This is just a hypothetical question, and I am in no way whatsoever suggesting or implying that "the Colorado situation" applies to Bellevue's issues, but hypothetically I wonder what Mr. Teutsch would say if "that" were one of the "allegations" here? Would he still say, "So what?" I mean, where do you draw the line?

And let me make it perfectly clear once again that no one is suggesting any impropriety of that or a similar nature here. Absolutely none!

NASS

Ck said...

What was so sad about Haggard, he sat there yesterday with his family
and denined (lied) all allegations.

Today he had a different story.
How could he lie so sincerly? This man called by God. I wanted to believe him yesterday.

I really know we need to pray for his family. I have a feeling he will milk the very life from them.

Tim said...

The point that I was making in the Colorado case is that the church body addressed the problem and handled it. They conducted their investigation quickly and thoroughly. Even the pastor had enough integrity to remove himself from leadership until the investigation was completed. It would be nice to have leadership in place that actually cares enough about the church to take charge and exhbit actual leadership. I believe that is what is extremely relevant to Bellevue.

SallySherlock said...

Brother Tim,

I agree with you. Our leaders just can't bring this to an end.

Tonight we did not hear "Dr. Gaines never once used church credit cards for personal purchases."

Instead we hear they looked into it and everything is okay.

Well, is it okay because he used them and paid the money back? If yes, then he lied to us all on Oct 24th and should resign today.

Did they even look at all the credit cards?

I don't want to nitpick, but they always leave us with more questions than answers.

I can't stand feeling like I'm not being a good sheeple.

MOM4 said...

ILMC,
I believe that any time we cannot ask questions and receive an answer that we can trust in, we will always have doubts. I cannot help but think that there is something amiss because it is so staged. We will have to wait a week to ask the committee questions unless we can find a deacon we trust.
I often wondered why Thomas doubted - but Jesus let him see with his eyes and touch with his hands. Jesue knew human nature and Thomas who was a believer, not an evil adversary like we supposedly are, still had his doubts. I wish we had someone like Jesus as our pastor.

SallySherlock said...

MOM4,

I've been on my knees praying for some kind of assurance I can trust our leaders. I am praying the Lord won't let me believe a lie either way. So far, I am still doubting the pastor and the inner circle.

If the pastor did none of the things he is accused I truly want this to be over with. I think there are still problems that we need to fix, but surely we can fix them. If he is lying or if the other leaders are lying, I want them gone.
Tonight I kept waiting for someone to tell us the pastor never used credit cards. They never said it. If he did nothing wrong why didn't they just let Mark Sharpe look at everything before this thing got out of control. It would have been real simple.

I'm sorry, I want to believe them, but right now this thing still stinks to me.

Anonymous said...

The following is for general consideration.

Sometimes in an effort to get to the answer you must ask the question in a way that covers the concern in a broader sense.

For example, is the question really about a credit card or the church paying for personal items regardless of how the bill arrives?

Another approach is to ask the same question in different ways.

Always follow up with a response that clarifies, such as, "so what you're saying is that...."

You must also ask yourselves, if something or someone is considered to be following policy, when did that policy get put in place or when was it last updated and why? Who created and/or put the policy in place? Who is affected or must adhere to the policy? Who doesn't? Is the policy actually written down or is it just an general understanding that a few are aware of? Was it created to solve a problem or prevent one? Was it created in good faith for the protection of all or just a few? Examine how it has been applied and by and with whom and you will get a better understanding of the legitimacy of the policy. If you ask enough questions and weigh the source of your information you will find that the truth becomes obvious and easily documentable.

If you ask a specific question and get a specific answer you may find that you are getting an honest answer but you need to understand you may not be seeing the biggest picture or whole truth of the matter.

Don't make a move on the board until you have considered your playmates options. We live in a world that people are not quick to be transparent and up front. How many people do you personally know that don't color and shape conversation to their advantage?

You must be wise and thoughtful in your questions and concerns. If it is a convictional heartfelt concern...think it through. First put all your effort in proving to yourself how you may have misunderstood or are perhaps wrong. Don't put your hands on any man quickly - but if and when you decide you must, make sure your questions sequentially eliminate error and misrepresentation and continually lead to confirmable truth.


*

New BBC Open Forum said...

i love my church wrote:

"I can't stand feeling like I'm not being a good sheeple."

Excuse me. What's a sheeple?

NASS

Anonymous said...

Ewe crack me up NASS

SallySherlock said...

Sheeple are people who, like a good sheep, stay in line, never asks questions and never cause their master problems.

New BBC Open Forum said...

That must make me "notastepfordsheeple."

Thank ewe.

NASS needs sleep(le)!

allofgrace said...

Josh,
I understand your sentiments. I pray that everyone will be able to find peace in this. I hope you'll continue to stop by the SBdiscussionforum..I've appreciated your contributions and points of view. In any event blessings to you.

Anonymous said...

what was that?

MOM4 said...

ok, ya got me! What was what?

RM said...

Tim,

I hate to disillusion you but the deacons have not been given the Scriptural authority to handle the financial matters of the church. They are "servants". Perhaps this confusion is what is causing all of the problems at Bellevue.

Tim said...

rm,

Those that are truly interested can read the entire passage.


Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.


This was the original appointed of deacons in the church. Although, there were some very specific items covered in this passage the Bible has clearly presented the principle of what was intended.

I would be interested in your interpretation.

MOM4 said...

We are waiting on the outcome of the "extended deacon's meeting" last night.
Reports anyone???

New BBC Open Forum said...

rm wrote:

"I hate to disillusion you but the deacons have not been given the Scriptural authority to handle the financial matters of the church. They are "servants". Perhaps this confusion is what is causing all of the problems at Bellevue."

Good point, rm. I certainly don't think that's causing all the problems, but it may be that we're expecting a lot more of the deacons that they can or are willing to do.

All the more reason we need updated bylaws and guidelines in place. You wouldn't think of running a company with 30,000 employees without detailed procedures for handling all aspects of the business. Why should a church with 30,000 members (let's say 18,000 that are more or less active and not just names on the roll) operate any differently?

NASS

MOM4 said...

If everything was "fine" last night, where are all the deacons who should be laying it all out for us. So far, they are all very very quiet.
If things are well and good, why the hush hush?
Spell it out for us so we can move on!

Lwood said...

cdb said
$193.00 for shoes...Well maybe he considers that a work expense since he does wear them on Sunday Morning. I think..Since I have never really looked at his shoes but he does wear some nice ties...Just trying to be on the light side for a change....
On the serious side tho...The credit card issue is only one of the issues but seems to have taken center stage. Maybe to get the members off of the other issues that need to be addressed. Maybe the reason that nothing has been discussed with the Sunday night events is that it was just nothing to it. Exactly what I was expecting. Nothing......

Tim said...

NASS,

I was not speaking of bylaws or any other of our church documents. I was speaking of scriptural authority alone. I don't know if our church bylaws address this issue or not. Please see my response post that addresses rm and directs to the original scriptural formation of the deacon body in ACTS 3:6

Anonymous said...

RM said...
Tim,

I hate to disillusion you but the deacons have not been given the Scriptural authority to handle the financial matters of the church. They are "servants". Perhaps this confusion is what is causing all of the problems at Bellevue.

9:53 AM, November 06, 2006

OK rm - so who has been assigned the authority to handle financial matters. Have the deacons or any other person or group specifically been disallowed to handle financial matters? Must they or anyone specifically be given permission for them to handle such things?

Please explain.

*

SallySherlock said...

Why, if the pastor never used the cards for personal purchases (as he swore on Sept. 24) did John Crockett, a communications committee member, ask Richard Emerson if it made a difference if the pastor paid the church back?

The answer for me is it makes a HUGE difference. The pastor swore he never did it. Either he did it or he did not. There is no grey area in this question.

Last night all they said was everything is fine. They did not say he never used the credit cards. Why not?

Also, we don't know how many credit cards he had access to. Did the deacons look at all of them? Did they even know to ask how many there are? Did they have the guts to ask?

This isn't straining gnats, this is real simple and it goes to the integrity of a lot of men. Either he did it or not. We deserve a straight answer. We didn't get that last night.

I don't think the credit cards are the biggest problem by a mile. However, if we have been lied to about this, the rest is academic to me. I won't stay in a church with a pastor who stands in the pulpits and lies about something like this. Please notice I said "IF". I am not accusing him of anything whatsover. Others have done the accusing. I just want the truth now that the issue has been raised.

Pastor, deacons, and communications committe, please answer this question with a definitive straight forward answer. That would go a long way toward healing the church.

I'm afraid I know why it hasn't been answered. I'm afraid the answer will cast several people in a bad light. If he never did it, why wouldn't he have allowed Mark Sharpe access to the informtion months ago to keep this from becoming a public matter? It doesn't add up. We aren't stupid. Just tell us the truth so we can decide how to deal with it and move on.

New BBC Open Forum said...

tim wrote: "I was not speaking of bylaws or any other of our church documents. I was speaking of scriptural authority alone."

Yes, that was apparent. Hence my remark that, "It may be that we're expecting a lot more of the deacons that they can or are willing to do."

You're correct that bylaws are not related to "deaconly" duties, and I don't disagree with anything you said. Thanks.

NASS

MOM4 said...

SGM,
In your list of What If's, you forgot the music.:)
Just kidding with you, actually, your "what if list" would be rather nice if it weren't so extreme and we are not attempting to be extreme, but to date, we have no concrete information from anyone - no deacons, no leadership no nobody...

Lwood said...

Lwood
There we go again. Go find another church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It does not matter what the Pastor does right or wrong we are all to just goooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I really don't see anything christian in supportsgodsman Blog. Could the Pastor have written this with his new shoes on :)

MOM4 said...

Hey Ya'll,
Mrs Rogers' name does not have a "d" in the spelling. Common mistake, I see it a lot...

MOM4 said...

Actually, I can type and write better than I could ever speak. I am not a "public" personality at all. I think it is because I have to collect my thoughts because they are here and there and back over yonder...lol...Comes with age I am told (grandmothers mix up names to their grandchildren's dismay) - so go I.

RM said...

Sorry to have been so slow in answering you guys. I think if you will study Scripture carefully the deacons are called to be servants to the church. My suggestion for handling finances is to leave it in the hands of the Budget or Finance Committee (with strong input from the Personnel Committee). You might want to study the role of elders in the church and I think your problems with deacons might be resolved. The sad thing is that you have now degenerated into wanting to review every credit card charge and now you're even wondering things about Adrian's wife.

This is a pathetic sight to behold.

Tim said...

rm,

Our pastor himself said that our "deacons" are the "elders" of our church. The word is interchangeable in the original text.

So it appears that we are back to what I had originally stated, the deacons have the Biblical Authority to control financial matters of the church even if the deacon body defers their responsibility to a committee that they have appointed. If I am missing something here direct me to scripture that presents it differently.

Tim said...

I think that jello to the wall has been attempted. Folks are finding out that you need to stick it in a baggy first.

SallySherlock said...

RM,

Our finance committee members do not even know how much the pastor and senior leaders make. I agree this should be left in their hands, but somehow they don't have control over the finances. That is insane.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Earlier today I wrote to tim: "You're correct that bylaws are not related to "deaconly" duties, and I don't disagree with anything you said."

I have since reconsidered the first part of that remark, and I'd like to say that upon reconsideration, perhaps the bylaws should relate to "deaconly" duties. Maybe that's part of the problem. They don't know their job description because they don't have one! Footwashing (feetwashing?) and other first century duties aren't in demand much these days. Perhaps all they need are some written guidelines to understand what's expected of them. Just a thought.

NASS

New BBC Open Forum said...

deceivedagain,

I've hesitated to bring up this same analogy because there are some who undoubtedly will say that now we're saying Dr. Gaines has done something illegal. (Well, there was the fence, but I'm not talking about that.) I don't think anyone's saying at this point that anything illegal has occurred, but the analogy is a good one. As long as only one side is allowed to present "evidence," there can be no fair evaluation thereof.

NASS

allofgrace said...

Tim said...

rm,

Our pastor himself said that our "deacons" are the "elders" of our church. The word is interchangeable in the original text.

So it appears that we are back to what I had originally stated, the deacons have the Biblical Authority to control financial matters of the church even if the deacon body defers their responsibility to a committee that they have appointed. If I am missing something here direct me to scripture that presents it differently.

Tim,
Since I didn't hear Dr Gaines make that statement, I don't know in what context he used the term "elders". The terms elder/pastor/bishop/overseer are, as I understand it, interchangeable in the New Testament. I'm not aware of any other terms that are interchanged with "deacon", but I am not a Greek scholar. The context in which the first deacons were ordained was "waiting tables", which leads me to believe the main function, or at least one of the main functions of the deacon, was in the area of benevolence. The responsibilities of deacons can vary from church to church, depending on the size of the church, church by- laws and/or constitution, etc. They may or may not be involved directly in the finances of the church. If, in a particular church, the main function of it's deacons is the area of benevolence, then a scenario where a church member or family under their care should be in some temporal need, the deacon or deacons over them might meet together and discuss the circumstances and decide if the situation warrants benevolence from the church. If they vote that such benevolence is warranted, and they are not directly in charge of church finances, they would approach the committee or elder/s in charge of finances and request the church to release funds to take care of the need. In this case they are only involved in finances in a secondary way. I hope this may shed a little light on it. Blessings.

GBC_Member said...

I like Alvin Ellis.

Tim said...

rm,

The serving of tables that is refered to in Acts 6 is the same as the money changers tables that are reffered to in other scriptures. This was indeed adminisitration of the financial affairs. It is not refering to appointing seven men to the position of a waitress.

I have relied upon Bible Commentaries from John Darby's Synopsis, Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary, John Wesley's Explanatory Notes and Commentaries of John Calvin.

These commentaries also refer to the translation of the original text of elders, deacons and overseers as being interchangable. The original text is different for pastor, minister and bishop in most places that were translated, however.

allofgrace said...

Tim,
It was me..allofgrace who posted that comment. I was just posing some different schemes that I've both seen and have had related to me from pastors and deacons I've known. No offense intended..just relaying info...as I stated..I'm not a Greek scholar, this is the first I've heard of other terms as elder, overseer interchanged with deacon..but anyway I give you the entire context of the passage you refer to:

"In those days when number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, 'It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.'" Acts 6:1-4

But again, I defer to you.

Tim said...

I would like to rederict the discussion a bit on this thread.

It seems that there will not be any resolve to the credit card issue. The actual use of the card for personal reasons if they were reimbursed would be fairly minor, if we had not been told that it had never happened. If it was a single instance that had been forgotten then that is certainly understandable. However, if there were multiple instances, then credibility and integrity has become the issue.

The area that I would like to redirect concerning credibility and integrity have to do with the Wednesday night services.

We were told that the time on Wednesday night was being spent to meet with the ministers of other departments within the church so that we would not be away from his family every night of the week. I was bothered quite a bit that the Wednesday night directly preceeding this statement our pastor was preaching some where else. It seemed that it would be odd for this to have just slipped his mind on Sunday night considering that it was such a carefully prepared statement that was being made. It was something that I was willing to look past and just consider to be a case of absented mindedness.

However, now that we see that there are scheduled multiple Wednesday night preaching engagements, I believe that there is an issue of integrity and credibility.

I do not believe that there is a deacon in the church that could deny that what we were told is different from the truth. They probably will or like Mr. Tuesch simply will not care if we were told the truth or not.

I am not sure how it stands with other members, but a pastor should be held accountable for deliberately decieving the congregation of the church. It is obvious considering the sheer number of speaking engagements that are scheduled that this was not just an oversight.

For me personally, it has really made me wonder how much of the iceberg lies beneath the surface.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Tim,

To return to the credit card issue for just a moment, consider that it could also be that is the tip of the iceberg and the time devoted to reviewing some of the receipts and having the deacons vote that they're in order little more than a diversion from the more serious issues. Not saying this is the case, just food for thought.

NASS

Tim said...

nass,

It had absolutely occured to me that the credit card issue may have been addressed as part of a dog and pony show. As you well know someone didn't fall off the back of the cabbage truck yesterday.heh..heh...

New BBC Open Forum said...

seriouslysad wrote:

http://formerlybrainwashedbellevuer.blogspot.com

Who is that masked blogger?

Unknown said...

This came to me from Derrick Calcotte after I asked about the credit card deacon's meeting. It says they reviewed every single charge on every single statement. Truth Hunter, how can this be??

Karen,

I can tell you with confidence, that the credit card issue has been laid to rest beyond any question. We reviewed every single charge on every single statement going back to the very beginning. Each charge was examined and found to be 100% legitimate.

There were allegations that the pastor made personal charges on the card. This has been proven untrue beyond a shadow of a doubt.

There were allegations that there was some other credit card that had the personal charges on it. This has been proven false as well. The pastor does have an additional card (a Master Card, in case he is somewhere that doesn't take AmEx) but in the lifetime of that card there has been on one charge on it. It was a legitimate charge and it was under $10.

Sister Karen, I am heartbroken. It kills me that we have subjected our pastor to this insane degree of scrutiny, especially since the facts show exactly what we've been told time and time again there is nothing wrong.

Those who have falsely slandered our pastor over this credit card issue, who have gossiped, who have murmured about it need to repent before our Lord and apologize publicly. It is terrible that such damage has been done to his reputation over this issue of credit cards, when all allegations are totally without merit.

Thanks for checking in. Please help get the word out on the truth. If there is a question on this issue that you do not feel I've answered fully, please, please, please follow up and let me clarify it. There is nothing at all questionable there, and I want you to be completely reassured.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

Who said...

"Deaconsoldier"

Please drop me an e.mail. We need need to discuss some things and this is not the place for it.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote
dcalcote@msn.com

New BBC Open Forum said...

berean33 and others,

I refer you to the original post for this thread in which it was stated,

"Letter #3 which is here was written by Mr. Alvin Ellis, longtime Bellevue member and now inactive deacon to Robert Teutsch after Mr. Ellis received copies of Mr. Teutsch's two letters."

NBBCOF

Tim said...

Derrick,

I have appreciated your candor and directness and willingness to try to keep the body of Bellevue informed.

I am somewhat perplexed, however that you want to have private discussions with another deacon, who apparantly is not in agreement with your assesment of certain situations.

It causes me to wonder if you have perhaps been "appointed" as the contact point between the church and the BBC Open Forum. Especially, because we have heard little or nothing from any of the other deacons in agreement or otherwise.

Please deaconsoldier, do not allow an attempt to silence your voice be sucessful.

New BBC Open Forum said...

debtoralive,

I have deleted your comment. It was inappropriate in this forum. If you have an issue with your father, please take it up with him personally -- not here.

NBBCOF

Anonymous said...

swordoftruth said... Do you realize that these men took the Lord`s supper after giving false details to the entire church?

The last time I read the Bible it said those who drink it unworthily drink damnation upon themselves.


And the last time I read it, whoever you are, it said we tiny little humans have no business judging the spiritual state of another tiny little human.

--Mike

Tim said...

Mike,

I would be interested to know the particular Biblical reference that you are speaking of.
Thanks,

The tool man.

Tim said...

fedupwthis,

You have made many good points. I would like to try and give you a little insight into our church and some of the problems.
When the church allienates its membership, especially concerning the practicing of the principles of the faith, then there are divisions among the church. I do not blame you for not wanting to be a part of this, nor do I, but I believe in my heart that God expects men and women to protect what he loved so dearly.

New BBC Open Forum said...

debtoralive,

I'll let this one stand, but "berean33" had already made the same point you are, so what's the point of repeating it? Just to get a dig in on your father? And just so he knows it's his own daughter doing the digging? I fail to see the point.

But just for the record, I checked with Mr. Ellis before posting the letters and asked if "longtime Bellevue member and now inactive deacon" was an accurate description, and he confirmed that it was both correct and appropriate. I was always under the impression that once a deacon always a deacon, much like we still refer to former presidents as "President So-and-so." So I think it was clear to anyone who read the letters that your father is not an active deacon. He also explained this in a post a couple of weeks ago, so it's clear he's not a part of the deacon body at this time, and I've no doubt the people his letter was addressed to, the members of the current deacon body, are well aware of that fact as well. I didn't interpret his statement as an attempt to deceive anyone. Besides, the point of publishing his letters was to put Mr. Teutsch's letters in context. It wasn't about your father, and whether he's currently serving as a deacon or not (and as I said, it was clear he's not) was irrelevant.

Your words to your father in a public forum were harsh and bitter and as "sw&w" pointed out, were very much "uncalled for." It's obvious you're hurting, and I'm truly sorry you have issues with your father and hope you can eventually work everything out, but this is not the place to broadcast or deal with those issues. As someone suggested, "Put a stamp on it and mail it." Better yet, don't. I don't know your father personally, but he seems sincere in his convictions, and I hate to think how seeing your words at all, much less aired to the world, would hurt him. I just pray he didn't see your letter during the 14 minutes it was up and that you'll prayerfully reconsider letting him ever see it.

In spite of any differences I ever had with my dear father, I would never in a million years have spoken to him in the tone in which you spoke to your father, and I would never, ever have rebuked him in public. You quoted several scriptures in your lengthy missive. How then may I ask exactly does what you wrote and published in a public place honor your parents? I would urge you to hold your father up in prayer and continue to try to discuss any issues you may have with him privately and in love.

Tim said...

Fedupwthis,

I understand how confusing this must all be, especially from those that are outside looking in. If I may I would like to share with you some thoughts.

If you turn solely to man, then you will be met with "delusion". Mere men can not meet the requirements of God.
Romans 3:23
"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

If you turn solely to the church, then you will be met with "delamination". The church being composed of sinful men that have been saved only by grace, will have strife and struggles.
Luke 9:46-48
"Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.
And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,
and said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me; and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great."

If you turn solely to Jesus, then you will be met with "deliverance". It is only thru Jesus that we have the assurance of Gods great salvation.
Acts 2:22
...whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved
Acts 4:12
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

I would like to inveite you to speak with God, just as if you were talking on the telephone.

Confess - "Lord, I am a sinner."

Confide - "Jesus, I believe that you are the Holy Son of God and I accept you as my Savior."

Confirm - "Thank you Lord Jesus for accepting me and coming into my life."

Tim said...

Fedupwthis,

I am sorry to hear that you are unwilling.

Jesus had many hard sayings and there were many that turned away from the truth.

We had elections in our country yesterday. There were differences of policy and differences of opinion. Some of them that became quite heated. Does this cause us or would it cause you to no longer be an American? I would hope not.

There are differences within our churches, God has appointed us all with differences, not that we may all be the same, but that we all may be one. What you are witnessing within our church at this time is an attempt to restore oneness to our family. Should a discussion or difference within the family of God keep you from being a Christian? God forbid, but I can not make that decision for you.

I can only point you to Jesus and I urge you to accept Him. I can assure you that if you do, things that you did not understand before you will understand. Then you should begin reading the Bible, our former pastor always encouraged new Christians to read the book of John. As you read more, you will understand more.

Sadly without the first step of accepting Christ and Christ alone, you will be unable to understand.

I would encourage you to take that first step and assure you that you will never regret it. Even when there is strife within the church family, you will not regret giving your life to Jesus Christ.

Tim said...

fedupwthis,

I have only seen recently a post from you and have done my best to point you in the right direction. I have kept up with this post myself for quite a while and would like to know what the hateful and mean things that you have heard. I suppose that perhaps you are refering to the letters from some of the deacons (such as Mr.Tuesch) or perhaps you have seen the letters of staff members (such as Phil Weatherwax). These are the reasons that this blog exist because those that have choose to comment here believe that those that are hateful and mean do not belong in leadership at our church.

westtnbarrister said...

fedupwthis,

Someone once said, “The Christian church is the only society in the world in which membership is based upon the qualification that the candidate shall be unworthy of membership.”

If you place your faith in the church or in any man, you will be let down every time. The standard for the Christian is Jesus Christ and we certainly fall short. We too are the heirs of Adam and struggle with our sin nature, just like everyone else. Please don’t let our shortcomings blind you to the truth of who Jesus was, is, and forevermore will be.

I’m praying for you because He is tugging at your heart.

Tim said...

fedupwthis,

Do you not think that as members of the body of Bellevue, when we see deacons behaving like Mr. Tuesch, and staff members behaving like Phil Weatherwax, have proof beyond proof that our pastor has been dishonest in telling us the reasons that he does not preach on Wednesday nights, have proof positive that he has belittled the members of the church at other churches, that we should do nothing?

If you had a group of friends and a few of them were acting like that what would you do? What if you and a group of friends had built something really cool and great and a few neighborhood bullies came to take it away? What would you do?

I haven't seen anything mean that the people that post here have done, other than those that don't care about the truth and putting a stop to the cruel things that are being done within the church.

westtnbarrister said...

I posted the following excerpts on Cafe Kudzu this morning and someone encouraged me to post them here. This isn't aimed at either "side" at Bellevue. There is truth here for us all.

Betty, here ya go...

from Nancy Pearcey's book Total Truth:

“…We may preach a God of love, we may even have opportunities to reach thousands through our ministries and church programs, but if nonbelievers do not observe visible love within those ministries and churches and Christian organizations, then we undermine the credibility of our message.

‘The medium is the message,’ to use Marshall McLuhan’s famous phrase. And for Christians, the medium is the way we treat one another. ‘By this all people will know that you are my disciples,’ Jesus said, ‘if you have love for one another.’ (John 13:35). God’s strategy for reaching a lost world is for the church to function as a visible demonstration of His existence.

…having a Christian worldview is not just about answering intellectual questions. It also means following biblical principles in the personal and practical spheres of life…a Christian church or ministry may be biblical in its message and yet fail to be biblical in its methods. Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, said that the Lord’s work must be done the Lord’s way, if it is to have the Lord’s blessing. We must express the truth not only in what we preach but also in how we preach it. A Christian organization may be doing the Lord’s work—but if it is acting on human zeal and willpower, using secular methods of promotion and publicity, without visible love among staff and coworkers, then it is merely another form of human achievement, accomplishing little for the kingdom of God…”

Lwood said...

That love and trust must start at the very top and then it trickles down to the least of us.
Debtoralive said about making all kinds of allegations against our Pastor.......Most of the problems on this post have started with the actions of the pastor...Review the tapes and videos...They are his own words......
Concerning the Lords Supper....I agree that it should never have been served or taken with the problems that are in existance. I for one did not participate because of this.
I do have a question???What is the Bellevue Foundation and where does the money come from that funds the Bellevue Foundation???

westtnbarrister said...

"That love and trust must start at the very top..."

Indeed!

MOM4 said...

lwood,
I totally agree about the timing of the Lord's Supper and I did not partake as well. I also believe that that decision and the decisions that I make with the Lord are between me and the Lord and I resent having to hold hands with my neighbor to pray before I partake. This is one of the most intimate of times with our Lord and should be a personal time of reflection between you and God. It is very difficult to reflect on your own shortcomings and sins when you have to hold hands with your neighbor and listen as all those around you attempt to get right. This time should be a time to be quiet and listen to the Lord as he reveals anything in your heart that may not be right, not a time for group prayer.
Sorry about getting off topic, NASS, just couldn't help myself...maybe this could be a new thread:)

fedup,
I know how you feel, we are all fedup as well, but we still love each other and you in Christ and would like to welcome you into our family. Just like our earthly families, because we are in disagreement (even fuss and feud) at this particular time, does not mean we do not love each other. Make no mistake, we would all come together to minister in love over one lost soul, be it yours or anyone elses.

Who said...

Tim, Sword, et. al.

As I've already mentioned, I am choosing not to get into discussions on this forum anymore.

Anyone who truly seeks truth is welcome to e.mail me and I will be discuss with them what I know, and defer what I don't know to the communications committee.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

New BBC Open Forum said...

fedupwthis wrote:

"But not one person has said they agree that the postings here are unloving. Nobody has said they're sorry."

Maybe that's because overall, they don't. About the only "unloving" comments I've read have come from posters like rm, Mike Bratton, and a couple of others. For the most part, people on both sides of the issue have remained civil and respectful. When I've made an error I've always apologized, and so have others. Just because you don't agree with someone's opinion doesn't mean that person owes you an apology.

I sincerely hope that you're the person you say you are and that you will consider the thoughtful, concerned comments that posters such as "tim" and "choice_is_yours" have addressed to you. I ditto their thoughts. And if you are indeed being honest with us, then I apologize in advance for my next remark and would ask you to please ignore it.

If you're really someone from the church or a pastor trying to "bait" people, the jig's up!

NBBCOF

Tim said...

fedupwthis,

The things that you have heard do not sound hateful or mean, they actually sound trivial and have had little or no bearing in these discussions. I understand your dilema, but you are not a part of our church so you are not well informed on the topics that are going on and it would be unwise for me to trouble you with the truly cruel and hurtful things that have happened. Perhaps the examples of things that I gave you were not beneficial to you, but they should have been. I tried to give you real life examples of things that are disturbing to those within our church. Take a look again and see if it helps any. Perhaps you might answer, how you think some things should be handled.

Tim said...

CONCERNING THE PLEDGE OF ALLIEGIENCE TO THE PASTOR

I know that there a few deacons who read these post daily, perhaps more than I am aware of.

Your alliegience belongs to no man. Your alliegience belongs to Christ and his church. There is absolutely no Biblical mandate that require or supports such a pledge.

The apostle Paul when faced with those that wanted pledge as his followers told them directly that Apollos planted and Paul watered but God provided the increase. It was also Paul that told the church follow me as I follow Christ. If Paul would not accept the alliegience of followers then by what right does Dr. Gaines have to do so.

I WILL PERSONALLY CONSIDER THIS AS HIGH TREASON AGAINST THE THRONE OF GOD, JESUS CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH.

I ALSO WILL CONSIDER THAT OUR CONGREGATION NEEDS TO BE IMMEDIATELY CALLED INTO A BUSINESS MEETING, DISMISS ANY DEACONS WHO SWEAR THERE ALLIEGIENCE TO ANYONE OTHER THAN CHRIST JESUS AND BEGIN REPLACING THEM WITH GODLY, GOD FEARING MEN.

THIS IS WRONG. FLAT WRONG. BLATANTLY WRONG. AND ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE THAT IT WAS APPROVED BY OUR DEACON BODY.

WHEN THE CHURCH IS NO LONGER STRIVES TO BE A REFLECTION OF CHRIST, THEN THE CHURCH NO LONGER HAS A PURPOSE FOR EXSISTENCE.

THESE ARE DESPERATE TIMES.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Ditto!

Right you are, Tim! Please, if you don't mind, cross post your last comment to the new thread at the top of the front page.

NBBCOF

New BBC Open Forum said...

ezekiel,

See the top thread on the front page entitled "Deacons Pledge Loyalty.... "

Exhibit A is a letter from Chuck Taylor to the deacons -- unless someone's playing a very cruel joke!

NASS

New BBC Open Forum said...

1john3,

It's been done. Please look at the top of the front page. The "Deacons Pledge Loyalty... " thread has been open since last night.

As a reminder, let's all please remember to remain civil and not resort to name calling. We can be above that.

NBBCOF