Sunday, November 12, 2006

New Deacon Loyalty Pledge Thread

The old "Deacon Loyalty Pledge" thread has gotten too long and drifted off topic, so please continue that discussion here. And please remember to be civil and respectful in your comments.

194 comments:

Tim said...

Yes, let's return to the topic. This issue is being approached as if the deacons loyalty belonged to the pastor. The simple fact of the matter is that the deacons loyalty belongs to the congregation and this seems to be something that they have forgotten.

Tim said...

mkw,

Acts 6:1-3
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Gre'cians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
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 Biblical formation of the deacon body. In another thread I expounded on this to some extent and will only point out that the "serve tables" mentioned at the end of verse 2. Does not refer to men that were appointed the task of being waiters. It is refering to money tables as those in the temple. This is the principle that is behind the deacon body handling the financial affairs of the church. They are to be selected by the church and accountable to the church.

Tim said...

mkw,

If you have not seen as well, there was a public apology that I issued at the end of the first thread of topic. It has been something seriously lacking in our church. But when I am wrong or have wronged another, I do make a honest attempt to make it right. It was not a hollow apology that included the words "itty-bitty" or "my heart was in the right place" rather it was sincere.

Anonymous said...

Brother deacons,

Please understand that for you to sign and stand in support of Steve Gaines is to stand against those who are hurting and lost. It is an unfortunate reality but you are picking sides by signing and that is not going to aid in healing and bringing in the scattered sheep. We do not need a show of force, we need a show of love. And the best way to do that is to seek out the lost sheep. Listen to them. Seek to understand and walk with them. I am not asking you to be disloyal to Steve Gaines or to walk away from him. I am asking you to seek out the lost sheep as the good Shepherd would do. Bring us back together.

Ask, seek, knock, He will make Himself clear to you. Seek and you will find.


Luke 11:9-10
9 "And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.
10 "For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.
(NAS)


Luke 15:1-10
1 Now all the tax-gatherers and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.
2 And both the Pharisees and the scribes {began} to grumble, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."
3 And He told them this parable, saying,
4 "What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?
5 "And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 "And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'
7 "I tell you that in the same way, there will be {more} joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
8 "Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?
9 "And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!'
10 "In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
(NAS)

Tim said...

Andrew,

Your comments are beautiful and true. Those of us that have had concerns have been beat enough. No one and I repeat no one would put themselves thru this miserable mess if their concerns were not real. Please note the word "real", it does not mean that they have all been confirmed, but the vast majority have not been properly dismissed either. It is in fact our deacon body that has refused to investigate, until they were no longer able to deny that the problems were not going to disappear, and then made only a token attempt to investigate. What has amazed me so in this entire fiasco, is that our deacon body with a few exceptions will not stand up, determine the truth and then report it as it is without a political spin.

New BBC Open Forum said...

andrew,

A week or so ago you posted an open letter you'd written to Dr. Gaines. I was just wondering if you'd received a reply.

NASS

Anonymous said...

WTB - check your inbox

Tim - I ernestly pray our men will take a stand. I have to believe they are there stuggling and want to do the right thing.

NASS - I have not heard anything back.

Good night to all.

allofgrace said...

I was wondering if anyone has ever seen this type of thing done before...deacons signing motions of support for a pastor?

allofgrace said...

Let me reword...deacons being REQUIRED to sign such.

Unknown said...

I learned yesterday that there were deacons at that meeting that did not sign the pledge and walked out of the meeting. Can a deacon confirm this for me so I feel that I am passing along correct and true information. Thanks!

I went to the communication committe's "get together" yesterday. My mother and I spoke with Steve Tucker who said he will be working specifically with the choir on their issues. Since mom is in the choir, this was a good person for us to talk to. Steve said that the choir will be meeting in groups of 20 or so with the communciations committee. He said the choir will not be signing loyalty oaths or signing anything for that matter. I will leave Bellevue if they are required to sign something - that means a deacon lied to my face and that's all it will take for me to be done.

I have more to write on my meeting, but I think it's off topic. NASS, will you start another thread so I can post there.

Thanks! And have a great day!

Karen

Tim said...

ezekiel,

Thank you for rephrasing what I had said. What you had written was the intention of what I was trying to point out. I believe that my original comments concerning the loyalty pledge did a much better job of it however.

Tim said...

mkw,

I copied this from another post on another thread

The serving of tables that is refered to in Acts 6:3 is the same (wording) 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.

I do not have the confidence to rely upon my own interpretation but conidering the source of these commentaries and their agreement on this subject believe that they were correct.

Unknown said...

Ok, I'll post my meeting notes here:

Mom and I received a 10-page handout with lots of questions and answers on it. I have a copy and I've scanned a copy (but I can't get it to work right now) and I'm sure there are more copies floating around at BBC. I was really disappointed with the turnout I saw at the "get together". I told NASS last night via email that I only saw about 6 people speaking with committe members. People, that is sad! I think this was our opportunity to show how many people are hurting and confused by the leadership at BBC, and now they have "ammunition" that says there are only a handful of people who are discontent. If you're going to complain or discuss issues on a blog, but not have the courage or conviction to come face-to-face with someone who is actually answering questions, then you need to get out of the fight. I'm not convinced that the answers I received yesterday were truth, but I now have a "wait and see" attitude about it. I will know when I've been lied to and will be able to make any decisions I need to make. I really am disppointed at the turnout.

Did you know that Steve Gaines preaches on Thursday nights at i2? I thought that there was a preacher for that group, but apparantly according to Steve Tucker, that preacher took another job and now Steve preaches. Why does SG do that and then not preach on Wednesday night? You'd think that if he wanted to meet with committees and whatever, whoever, that he would do that on Thursdays. Everything about that not preaching on Wednesdays is just shady to me. Steve did not indicate if the i2 preaching was just for the interim or if it would continue forever.

Steve Tucker indicated that the way things were handled with Dr. Whitmire were handled badly, but really there was no way to go back in time and change things. My mother and I promised Steve that we would try to dispel any rumors and work toward reconcilliation. We are in "wait and see" mode to make sure what Steve Tucker s

I also learned yesterday (not from Steve, but my mom) that David Smith and the Administration ministers (David, Bryson (?) McQuiston and 2 executive/administrative secretaries) were told to "find something to do" when Steve arrived and that David was required to report to Mark D. each week - about what I don't know. Then, they demoted Mr. McQuiston and David Smith (I don't know what happened to the secretaries.)

Also, did you know that SG's car is a perk for him? I know that Jimmy Foster and Schilling have gave cars to Dr. Rogers over the years, but I didn't know that the church was paying for it. I know that his car was worked on at an aftermarket car place here in town, but I can't substatiate it because I can't get the bill for it. A friend of mine works at this car place and pointed the SUV out to me (with no prompting from me) and told me "we're doing about $40,000 in improvements to that new Bellevue guy's car). He didn't know I go to Bellevue, so why would he make that up.

Most of this is way off topic so if NASS wants to move it, please do.

Thanks, Karen

Anonymous said...

The pledge is currently being revised to be a backing of the pastor and not a pledge. This would allow for the deacons to still have "concerns" or "questions".

Reportedly , according to the previous pastor, the deacons are to be the pastor's pastor and are to hold the pastor accountable and address the pastor directly about any concerns. ( thus no other accountablilty is in place)

So the riddle is, are the deacons really under or are they over or both ?

It is also reported that the pastor has turned in the credit cards.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Karen,

There's already a thread for that. It's called "Ask the Communications Committee!" which is the fourth topic down from this one.

You can copy and move your comment there if you'd like.

NBBCOF

Anonymous said...

As Mike and others have already said, in most part all the pledge is doing is reaffirming what the Deacons have already agreed to when they became Deacons. just like most of the the other issues, it has been twisted to fit what seems to be a certain agenda. there is not one Deacon being "forced" to do anything.

Tim said...

HisServant,

And so the purpose of the pledge is?

Anonymous said...

because many Deacons want to make that stand and that is their right to do so. I think it is great!

Tim said...

I think that it is purely political. It would be great if they would invite those that still believe that the questions have not been answered to stand afterward. It is incredibly convient to present one side of every argument.

Tim said...

Actually, let me restate myself it would be no better to let those that believe that there are still unanswered questions to stand afterward. Either way, the congregation is the group that suffers. It does no more to present the truth than anything else that has been done.

Anonymous said...

what unanswered questions do you still have? where have you gone to find the answers?

Tim said...

Why is it that Dr. Gaines can not preach at our church on Wednesday nights for family reasons, but has no problem being other places on Wednesday nights? Is this not different than what we were told?

Tim said...

Why can we not have an open business meeting, in which Mark Sharpe, Richard Emerson or anyone else could speak and ask their questions?

Why have former staff members been unable to speak out (not unwilling, but unable)? Explain the confidentiality agreements within the staff and former staff.

Why must those with questions, be belittled from the pulpit, preached to about being "adversaries" (which is not true), "A fault finding spirit" (which created an odd twist on the account of the encounter of Nathan the prophet with David), "drawing pentagrams, lighting candles and worshipping satan" (just flat wierd and completely out of context)?

Unknown said...

Tim,

See my last post in the Communications Committee thread.

Karen

Tim said...

I must sign off at the moment, but these are but a few questions. There are more. I will check back later to see what could be said of these. Anyone else that have any please chime in. It would appear that we may finally have someone that is willing to help.

Anonymous said...

there are some on here that have had legitimate concerns along the way. there are many others that have only used this forum for slander and to feed off of one another. this blog and ALL others regarding Bellevue and private church matters are WRONG. there is nothing anyone can say to defend that. many have tried to defend it and failed. there is NO excuse. many have said that this was the only option left, a last resort. this and the other blogs should NEVER have even been an option. many are using Matt 18 as a crutch. what happened to trusting God? you were not forced to do this and there is NO excuse for it. this and the other sites are full is rumors and slander and half-truths and untruths. there is no way to defend that. slander is slander. it would not matter if all that was being said was true(it is NOT), slander is still 100% wrong. last resort? there should be no last resort? again, many have used Matt 18 as a crutch to try and justify their actions and that is very wrong. we need to wait on God. He will take care of things in His way and in His timing.

Tim said...

HisServant,

I appreciate your opinion, but you are indeed wrong. The attempt to address these issues prior to this blog and the original were minimal. Since, then it has begun to be taken seriously. You being here is a testimony to that.

Anonymous said...

Brother Steve has many different things he does on Wed. nights. He meets with committees, youth groups etc etc etc. He said he leaves Wed. night open to do those things, so that he can spend OTHER nights with his family.

i have NO problem with the Wed. deal.

is it a sin that he is not preaching on Wed. night?? NO! it is all about what people want and do not want and personal preferences.

everyone is not going to like everything, but if it is not a SIN, you have no right to slander and cause the issues that have been caused over things like this.

Tim said...

And God will use people in his way and the way of his choosing and perhaps God will choose to use a blog. I presume to put no limits on God and neither should you.

Tim said...

Concerning Wednesday nights.

If the purpose for not preaching at Bellevue on Wednesday nights were to be so that he could be preaching at other places. Why were we not plainly told?

Anonymous said...

so you are somehow trying to justify the HORRIBLE slander that has been on this blog and others? see what the Bible has to say about slander. God is not telling anyone to slander or spread rumors or false rumers, etc etc.

Tim said...

Since when, has seeking truth and asking for truth become slander?

Anonymous said...

there will be people through this that will be held accountable for causing fellow Brother's to stumble and for causing some lost poeple to never want anything to do with Christ because of what they have seen.

again, there is nothing that you can find in God's word to justify any of this.

Anonymous said...

so you are going to deny the HORRIBLE slander that is on this blog and other sites?

not saying you are not, but there are many that are in way searching for the "truth".

i will say again, the answers are there.

Tim said...

I appreciate your opinion. I am sure that there are some of Paul's epistle that might cause the lost not to be saved. Do you suggest that they be removed also?
It is up to God to justify and up to God to condemn.

Anonymous said...

when this is all over and it is shown that 99% of the stuff on this blog and others is not true, then what? and that time will come. that time has already come for many that are TRULLY seeking the "truth". what then?? will all of you get up and say you are sorry?? will you make sure it gets reported on the news and in the papers??

Tim said...

Concerning Salvation of the Lost

When the main thing, becomes the only thing, then any thing and every thing that is not centered around the main thing becomes nothing. How can it be that salvation is from nothing and to nothing?

Salvation is but the first step, sanctification is the process of many steps.

Tim said...

I must go at this point. I will check in later, but I am convinced that you do not have the answers. I appreciate your convictions. It is admirable, but if you have the answers and do not share them, then who is guilty of what. Would Christ have denied the truth to those that sought it, no matter what venue they choose?

Anonymous said...

i answered the Wed. night deal with no response from you.

Anonymous said...

Tim, Brother Steve's sermons have been planned for months and months. do you think he should change because he might step on some toes?? I sure don't!! when my toes gets stepped on etc, I usually need it. It is the same for the series that Mrs Gaines has been doing with the ladies. Her material amd schedule was planned months ago. they are in God's timing. He new we would be going through this at this time.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, I think signing a loyalty pledge to Dr. Rogers, Billy Graham, W.A. Criswell, George Truitt, or any other great Southern Baptist leader would have been just as wrong. Pledging loyalty to a fallen man means devoting oneself to an uncertain future- what if that man succumbs to lying, pride, greed, or immorality at some time in the future? (read about Ted Haggard as an example)

I have seen these pledging tactics used before in churches that confuse shepherding with herding. When the people of a church sense they are loved, they usually respond with love in return and follow the leader. A pastor who demands loyalty ends up playing a losing game- trying to herd the congregation like cattle. Sheep respond to shepherds, not ranchers, or worse, cowhands.

A new pastor can only live off the credibility of a former pastor so long before that credit is completely spend. He must begin to earn his only credibility by demonstrably loving people in person and from the pulpit.

Anonymous said...

make of it what you will. you and others are making it something it is not. it is NOT an oath to a man. in most part, it is only reaffirming what the Deacons have already agreed to.

Bother Steve in NO way asked for this and in NO way demanded loyalty!!!

westtnbarrister said...

Hisservant,

I forwarded a post to a Southern Baptist theologian several weeks ago that made the identical argument you just made about leaving all of this to God. I wanted an outside expert opinion on that line of thinking.

I won't bore you with the details of his response, but he strongly disagreed with your perspective.

Of those who say we should leave this to God he said, "Do they actually expect a lightening bolt to strike your pastor dead?"

Do you believe God uses men to accomplish His aims? I do. The Bible verifies over and over that He uses foolish, fallible men to accomplish His purposes.

Also, I would be cautious about thowing around words like "slander." Slander is an "oral" communication, so by definition nothing written here is slander. However, it might be libelous, which is a written communication. Nothing that has been written is libel unless the person making the statement has "actual malice." That phrase comes from a 1960's case involving the New York Times. It means the person writing or speaking must do so with the deliberate knowledge that the statement is both incorrect and defamatory. Generally speaking, libel or slander must be a factual misstatement, not an expression of opinion.

I am not defending every statement made here. Many have been extremely careless and based soley in rumor. But that goes for both sides. Unless you are the pastor, you can't know with certainty you are correct about the facts any more than a poster with a divergent view knows with certainty. Much of what has been said and discussed here is a complete waste of everyone's time. Despite that, it is highly unlikely anything written here or at Saving Bellevue rises to the level of slander. Also, truth is a defense to a charge of libel or slander.

You said, "He will take care of things in His way and in His timing." On this we agree.

I simply believe He may do so through human agency. In fact, I believe this is already happening.

Anonymous said...

unreal. you are sitting here trying to defend this blog and others tearing Brother Steve and others to pieces with NO facts to stand on. again, even if there were some "truth" to any of this stuff, there is still not excuse.

making an excuse for the stuff on this blog and others because it is written?? that is trully sad

Anonymous said...

so you are blaming your actions and the actions of others in the Leadership?? WE are in control of our OWN attitudes and actions.

have mistakes been made? sure they have and TONS were made under Dr. Rogers as well.

again, there is NO excuse

westtnbarrister said...

hisservant,

I merely pointed out you are carelessly throwing around words you apparently do not understand. I am not defending anyone. We are all accountable for what we say and write.

Perhaps you are right about the facts. Perhaps others are right about the facts. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Either way, libel is a big charge to make and it won't stick.

But that wasn't the main point of my post. The primary focus of my post had to do with your notion we should just "wait on God" and do nothing. I believe history is His-story of how men have been used to accomplish His purposes. Maybe you should do nothing. Maybe I should do nothing. But I believe some men are led of God to DO something.

Also, if we are merely to wait on God, shouldn't that apply to both sides? Why should the deacons pledge anything to anyone? Why should we form a committee? Why should the deacon leaders announce there has been no wrongdoing?

Face it, you only want those opposing the pastor to do nothing.

Anonymous said...

i never said, do nothing. I said there is NO excuse for the things that have been done and the way they have been done, NONE. yes, many times we should wait on God. are you saying we should not wait on God at times??

Anonymous said...

he for the Birthday party at the first of the week right after that happened WITHOUT being asked about it. he tried to use his own card and they did not let him. it is policy at the club.

allofgrace said...

hisservant,
are you not possibly guilty of the same charge of slander/libel? you come here and make blanket accusations of slander...have you read each and every post on this and "other" blogs? I echo WTB's statement...we are all accountable for what we say...including you. I also want to address a statement that keeps cropping on this forum...the idea that any soul will end up in hell because of someone else's actions...that is simply not Biblical...I urge you to read Jeremiah 30:29-30 as well as Romans 1:20...if you still believe that statement is true, then I would gently caution you to take care lest you be weighed in those same scales and be found wanting!

MOM4 said...

hisservant,
It is Not about the charge - it is about lying about it!

westtnbarrister said...

Absolutely not. Of course we wait on God. But your post, and others I have seen, seemed to suggest we should drop all of this and let God handle it. I am pointing out I believe He is handling it through men.

You say there is no excuse for what has been done. NONE. I say our church members do not know what has actually been done by either side. There are presumptions and rumors about what has been done, but the facts are not as clear cut as everyone believes. As long as God is using fallible men, mistakes can and will be made. That does not mean their mission is wrong.

Anonymous said...

so you cannot cause a brother to stumble? I never said that every person on every board was guilty of slander.

so you are going to deny that there is slander, rumors, half-truths and untruths on this board and others?

it is unreal and sad how many feed off of each others rumors they throw out everyday. i was told this and I was told that and on and on and on and on and on and on.

accusations of slander?? is it that hard to see?

Anonymous said...

it is not about dropping it. it IS about how things are being done. this blog and others are WRONG, period.

"IF" Brother Steve was guilty of everythingof everything many have claimed, this blog and others would still be WRONG!

Anonymous said...

i am simply amazed. If I for one second thought the horribe things many of you think are true, I WOULD LEAVE and FAST. i just do not get it. i would not go to a church where I thought these things were true. you can say you love Bellevue all you want.

i think this is where MANY get things confused. this is where many claim that they are being told to leave. tat is just not the case.

if you are unheappy and if you trully feel that these things are true why stay? i would love an answer to that. why stay? to prove a point? to get someone fired? why?

if one trully thinks these things are true, how can you trully worship at Bellevue??

Anonymous said...

It is clear that the Lord calls pastors and the church calls deacons (Acts 6). To move active deacons to inactive status supercedes the authority of any committee. For the committee to argue that "they are taking themselves off the active deacon list by refusing to sign the pledge" is disingenuous at best.

Anonymous said...

where are you getting that pslam43:3??

also, the Deacons have been given EVERY opportunity to possible to have their questions answered. if they some of these things are true, why would they want to be a Deacon? why would we want them to be?

westtnbarrister said...

"IF" Brother Steve was guilty of everythingof everything many have claimed, this blog and others would still be WRONG!

Well, I think you made your position clear.

We disagree.

Anonymous said...

it is fine to disgree, but what do you have to backup your viewpoint?

allofgrace said...

HisServant said...

there will be people through this that will be held accountable for causing fellow Brother's to stumble and for causing some lost poeple to never want anything to do with Christ because of what they have seen. (emphasis mine)

This is what I'm addressing...we all can cause a BROTHER to stumble..we can cause Christ's name to be dishonored and blasphemed among the lost..both serious sins...but every individual is personally responsible for what he/she does with Christ...regardless of the actions of others. That's the point I'm making..making a statement like that COULD cause someone who is lost think somehow they will have an excuse before God...that's why it's just as important to avoid making such statements as it is to take care in being libelous/slanderous.

westtnbarrister said...

Which viewpoint?

Anonymous said...

Acts 6:3-4 says "Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

According to deacon leadership, deacons who do not sign a loyalty oath and stand with the pastor on the platform this Sunday will be moved to inactive status. In fairness, one of the members on the Communication Committee that met with the Preschool and Children's workers last night said that they are reconsidering the verbiage of "loyalty oath" that is to be signed. This might lessen the offense.

Tim said...

HisServant,

Why stay? Because I know what our church has been, I know what it should be and I know what it can be? If you are so eager to give up, to just give up then you do so. When God directs me to do other than what I have, then I will do so. I am a member of this church as well as you. If I thought that it was hopless I would leave and it is rapidly coming to that point.

Isaiah 66:5 ¶ Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

Take a note and take it well. Those that have searched for truth have not been the ones that have said, "If you don't like it, leave."

westtnbarrister said...

Tim,

It seems we are on the same page about this. As long as God directs me to keep my family in this church I am staying, even if that means I am the lone voice standing for truth.

Anonymous said...

psalm 43:3,

if Brother Steve or others would have made the same statement you just made, they would have been called liars and it would have been the next item added on the list. i am saying this to make a point. this is exactly how a great deal of this stuff has gotten twisted and why we are where we are.

loyalty and loyalty oath are 2 VERY different things. VERY different.

the Deacons voted and had the opportunity to vote no. none did so.

I am in no way saying that you are lying and or that you meant anything when saying loyalty oath. I simply wanted to point out have VERY VERY easy things can get twisted and rumors started.

bowtheknee said...

Anybody but NASS and me ever notice that one person always gets on these threads and disrupts everything? You were all on point until hisservant showed up. Maybe we should scroll on past for now............

Diana

bowtheknee said...

There is a separate thread for "if you don't like it leave."

Anonymous said...

all on point? please explain.

regarding your 2nd post, you proved my point. you hear what you want to hear and see what you want to see. I NEVER said for anyone to leave!! try reading my post again.

also, how sad that one person on here that is on the "other side" is said to have disrupted things.

if I came on here and bashed our Pastor and brought NEW gossip and rumors I would have been welcomed my most with open arms.

how dare someone actually stand for God's anointed.

allofgrace said...

choice_is_yours,
that's a pledge I can live with.

MOM4 said...

Choice,
Your pledge is more pallatible than the previous that I have read, however while we are ALL willing to forgive and forget as Christians, there is ALWAYS consequence for sin.
There will be a time of honesty, forgiveness, repentance and reconciliation and consequences that will fall, but it will need to start with Steve Gaines, Chuck Taylor and Harry Smith.

Anonymous said...

sinners ball? i have only asked for someone to defend this blog and the rumors that exist on it.

no, I am not gulity of the same. I am on here for a few days and I am gone. I have not posted ONE post that did not contain TRUTH. I have not posted ONE thread that included a rumor, half-truth, slander etc etc. not one. the blog is NOT the issue, it is the content. I have not used names in my threads without permission. i have simply tried to answer some questions and clear up somethings.

there are many people all over the country and all over the world that have a FALSE view of Brother Steve and Bellevue because of this blog and other sites. when all this is over, MOST of those same people will never hear the good that came out of it. MOST of those same people will not hear the true story. Brother Steve's reputation and many others have been ruined in the eyes of many. are you or someone else going to make sure that this blog and others stay up to praise Brother Steve when the "truth" is found? will all on here and others spend hours and hours online praising God's anointed? or will that be to boring?

just like in politics etc. the only thing that many are interested in are the juicy rumors and tidbits. good things do not get this much attention. good things do not cause such a frenzy.

I simply challenge everyone to go find a Deacon or someone on the committee and get your questions answered. please stop doing what you are doing on this blog. please. all I can do is ask and then move on. PLEASE.

New BBC Open Forum said...

hisservant wrote:

"this blog and ALL others regarding Bellevue and private church matters are WRONG.

I guess you haven't had a chance to post that same comment over at the Bratton blog yet. Will you be getting around to that soon?

NASS

P.S. It's "truly." T-R-U-L-Y, with one "L". Since you used it so much, just thought you'd like to correct that in the future.

Anonymous said...

I'm just curious. How many different Blogger Identities can one person have? Seems to me that there are fewer people commenting than there are Identities. I think I could do that. I grew up arguing for fun. Arguing was a family tradition. Pick a side and try to prove your case. It was a primmer for debating where a good debater was always prepared to argue either side. Folks, I seem to sense that some here could take either side.... just for sport. If I did this I suppose I'd be laughing myself silly. The giveaway that something like this is going on becomes apparent when good questions are answered with nonsense. See any of that?

GBC_Member said...

I'm just curious. How many different Blogger Identities can one person have?

As many as you want. You and I could actually be the same person.

allofgrace said...

I have 2 blogs...one ID

GBC_Member said...

I have 2 blogs...one ID

I have one ID and no blog. Mostly I just read as I scroll along. Except that I won't read the poster that must not be named. He is way to mean and sarcastic. I could not even pretend to be as full of mean and hateful things to say as that guy is.

Anonymous said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
hisservant wrote:

"this blog and ALL others regarding Bellevue and private church matters are WRONG.

I guess you haven't had a chance to post that same comment over at the Bratton blog yet. Will you be getting around to that soon?

NASS


Unlike this one, mine is not a single-issue site. I have actually written about things other than the anti-Bellevue nonsense--which, apparently, knows neither shame nor boundary. And as I have time, I'll be writing about even more different and varied things.

Nass, have I shared any private church matters? Or, have I insisted that those who do such things cease and desist? And, what does this have to do with the deacon affirmation?

--Mike

Anonymous said...

Was it Will Rogers that said: "A lie will travel half way around the world while truth is still tying its shoes"? I say, do not loose hope. Remember the tortoise won and truth will win. God always wins.

The questions I am asking myself are: Am I being loyal to God? In everything I think, am I being loyal to God's word? When I speak, will I show myself disloyal to the principles and precepts of God? When I type, will these same principles and precepts "sit" on my shoulder as if responding to the Holy Spirit to direct and edit the thoughts and intents of my heart in words?

I would imagine that if all of the bloggers were thoughtful, sensible, and thinking more highly of others than of them selves, following the leading of the Holy Spirit and the whole council of God’s word, there would NOT be much to blog about. Unless we would get all excited about bragging on God and couldn’t wait to tell about what Jesus is doing. Could happen.

I suspect that we, who would blog about loyalty and have much to say with many words, could benefit greatly by reading and meditating on the word of God where the “picture” and “story” of the loyalty of Jesus is told. Those who are in Christ are new creatures. As new creatures our loyalty belongs to the one who made us new. That loyalty will be best demonstrated by our voluntary obedience to the Lord and an infectious attitude of gratitude. We who claim the name of Christ are not our own. We have been bought with a price, the blood of Jesus. Our loyalty is not for hire or for sale. Our loyalty is not established or enhanced by any kind of proclamation.
Our loyalty to Jesus will be obvious. The very word of God will work like a sieve for our thoughts and the very words that float from the tip of our tongue. The law of love will be our close companion. Our loyalty to Jesus will be evident by our keen desire to abstain from every appearance of evil. We will be known for helping those who have stumbled. Our loyalty to Jesus will be recognized by our compassion and care for people: Smelly people. Tall people. Fat people. Young people. Old people. Whole people. Broken people. Any color people. Any nationality people. Educated people. Uneducated people. Ugly people. Beautiful people. You name-it people. We will be known to be quick to hear and slow to speak. We will be growing and leading others to grow in their dependence on God and a growing hatred for sin. Our loyalty to the Lord Jesus will be supernaturally attractive to others. Our loyalty to Jesus will not allow us to be easily persuaded to trade any of our loyalty away to obtain friendship or approval. Our growing loyalty to Jesus will toughen our minds with resolve and “tenderize” our hearts for service. I believe that a growing single-minded loyalty to Jesus the Christ can be used of God to do what no man could imagine or anticipate. I believe that our situation at Bellevue Baptist will respond to this kind of loyalty but not to anything less. We can squabble on or we can bow the knee one by one until we become more nearly as one in the Lord. Father, may Christ have preeminence. Amen

Anonymous said...

Just read the loyalty pledge and have only read a few blogs. Frankly, I can't understand what the big deal is...children pledge allegiance to the flag everyday with their hand over their heart (at least I did in school), and couples vow to be loyal/faithful at the altar when married. How can anyone seriously think that any of the deacons were putting their loyalty/allegiance above Jesus? It was merely a gesture of support for their pastor, not signing their souls away to a man. I see nothing wrong with it and folks are reading too much into it.

Anonymous said...

pledgesmedge,

I would have no trouble signing on until I realized that there would be consequences if I did not sign on or if at a later date I changed my mind. There is a hint of manipulation or maybe even coercion. Not in the words of the document but associated with the purpose for signing on. Some are of the understanding that this signing may not constitute only a re-affirmation of what each deacon has already put his name to but a re-signing with an unwritten additional meaning or significance. This additional unwritten "meaning" or significance, which has no expressed definition, is cloaked in the; "why" are we doing this? Personally I think this is a nice gesture but I believe that some of our deacons believe that this is something useful and meaningful that will actually accomplish something. I am not so inclined. We learned in physics class that force times distance equal work. We learned that force times no distance equals effort. I believe that this show of "loyalty" will be shown to equal "effort". Maybe not. But so far, not so good. Please pray scripture.

Anonymous said...

I have followed the varied comments, arguments, accusations and rants that have been posted for the past several days.

I would first like to state that I am outside the center circle when it comes to the basic bed rock foundation of the underlying "problems" with the Dr. Steve Gaines and/or Mark Sharpe factions. I have no preconceived notions and readily admit that I am not qualified to castigate the views of either side of the argument.

I do know that the old cliché "God works in mysterious ways" is definitely in play as this drama continues to play out.

Believe it or not, this is not the first time Bellevue has been beset with controversy over the ordaining of a new senior pastor. And I am confident this will not be the last time controversy falls upon Bellevue when they replace their leader.

When Dr. Robert G. Lee retired from Bellevue in 1960 he was replaced by a fire breathing, gospel preaching personality by the name of Ramsey Pollard. After 33 years of listening to a man whose eloquence in the pulpit had no rival, Bellevue had been turned over to a man who regularly slammed his fist on the pulpit, raised his Bible in the air and pointed to members of the congregation. He told them unabashedly that if they failed to follow the simple plan of salvation laid out in the book that he was waving above his head, they would feel the fire of eternal damnation lapping at their bodies.

Now this was quite a change from the style Bellevue had grown accustomed to for the past 33 years. An element arose that had decided that this "bible thumper" was not the man that God had meant to follow such an elegant Shepard as Dr. Lee. Wild accusations began to flow about the "arrogant" newcomer that had the audacity to shake the rafters with has booming voice. It was rumored that Dr. Pollard was spotted every now and then enjoying a fine cigar. (Whether or not he climbed any fences spewing his verbal fire and brimstone has not, to my knowledge, been documented.) Now, how on earth could a man of such brashness be the right man for to lead such a refined and civilized congregation? Obviously, a major blunder had been made. This tobacco-using loud-mouth preacher is NOT supposed to be leading Bellevue Baptist Church. I can only imagine reading those blogs if the Internet had been in existence in 1961.

The controversy continued to grow over Dr. Pollard until it became evident that an impassable schism had split Bellevue at the seams. All of a sudden, the serene atmosphere of this elegant church had turned to allegations, cross-allegations, slanderous statements and accusations that eventually led to a sizable contingent of members leaving the Bellevue.

So, was this the end of Bellevue Baptist Church's contribution to the glory of Jesus Christ? A church so divided in it's allegiances that it is split in two parts? This surely could not be God's will. Obviously, hiring the wrong man for the job of Pastor had brought an end to the mission of this once great church. Now, all that had been built by Dr. Lee over the last 3-plus decades is lying in shambles.

A funny thing happened in the early 1960's. After the final ashes of the funeral pyre that was once the great Bellevue Baptist Church died down, two great Phoenixes arose from those ashes, one in midtown Memphis and another in the suburban area of east Memphis on Walnut Grove Road. Many the disenchanted congregants left and started another church. But did they go alone? Oh no. It seems God must have gone with them. But by some miracle, it seems he must have stayed in midtown too. How could this be? After so much strife and turmoil, God's work continued, not just in midtown at Bellevue, but now out east as well at the fledging Second Baptist Church.

While many were convinced that mistakes were made in the hiring of Dr. Pollard, God's plan was just beginning to unfold. Dr. Lee was undoubtedly the man ordained to lead Bellevue Baptist Church through the Great Depression and World War II. But the times were changing. This out-spoken servant of God that now controlled the rudder of Bellevue Baptist Church turned out to be the perfect captain for the rough seas that were just ahead for Bellevue. The late 60's brought us the Viet Nam War. This war shook the very fabric of American civilization. Soldiers were spit upon on their return from this war. Heroes were looked upon as fiends. The American ideals that were formed under the Judeo-Christian beliefs, upon which this country were founded, were changing at an alarming rate. Love of God was being replaced with love of self. "Love thy neighbor as thyself" was being replaced with "If it feels good, do it." Church attendance dropped as Americans were constantly indoctrinated with the philosophy that man had outgrown the need for God. Abominations in the sight of God became the status quo.

But, you know, every week I would watch the TV and read the papers and would slowly start to fall into the thinking of the "Me" generation. That is until Sunday morning when I would sit in that big building on Bellevue Avenue and watch that arrogant brash preacher pound his fist on the pulpit and set me right back on that straight and narrow path.

In 1972 Dr. Pollard announced his retirement from Bellevue Baptist Church. There was not a dry eye in the building that morning. Bellevue Baptist was as robust as it was in 1960. The "mistakes" were now just distant memories.

There were many members of Bellevue Baptist Church that were convinced that Dr. Pollard was not the right man for them. But Dr. Pollard was the man picked by GOD to lead his church! And through all the turmoil of the era Dr. Pollard led his flock just as God had planned. God did the same in 1972 when he led Dr. Rogers to Memphis to lead this church.

From 1927 until 1960, God gave Bellevue Baptist Church an architect to lay out the path to salvation. In 1960 to 1972, God sent a Shepard to see that the flock of Bellevue did not stray from that path previously constructed. From 1972 to 2005, God sent a teacher to instruct the flock in their journey down that path.

Now we have reached another fork in the path. Which way do we go? Now that is a question I cannot answer at this time. All I know is that after 45 or so years, this church is faced with another man who seems to possess qualities that may be repugnant to many members. I would not be honest if I said that I have not seen some things that make me question whether or not Steve Gaines is the right man to lead this great church. I also know that I am not qualified to question God's plan. I do know that the world we live in is again going through a metamorphosis. We have Muslim extremists that want to eradicate us. We have a social system that is again questioning our core beliefs in Jesus and his saving grace.

Without a doubt Dr. Gaines teems with arrogance and a narrow minded dogmatic approach. Those traits may not be what we are comfortable with in a senior pastor. But I still believe that no matter how we feel about the direction this church, God is still ultimately in control, and I am not yet ready to question his guidance in this matter. While the traits of arrogance and steadfast strong-handed control are not traits I am used to in a pastor, I also do not know what is lurking in the shadows ahead as we travel the path of salvation. I am afraid though that the path may be much more dangerous than at any othertime in the past. The freedom to practice our faith has always been a given since this country was formed. I am no so sure that will be the case in the near future. Now, we have a sizable segment of the world population that seems hell-bent to remove us from the path we choose to follow. A basic tenet of Islam is to convert the enemies of Islam to Islam. Those that cannot be converted are to be destroyed. On September 11, 2001, the destruction phase of this belief came to American shores.

If I were in a war, I would want a leader arrogant in is ways, and stubborn in his approach, a man who does not second guess himself in times of crisis. I guess what I am trying to say is that qualities that we see as undesirable in one man are necessary in another for him to get the job done. I am convinced that peril is ahead for each and every one of us that share our belief in the saving blood of Jesus Christ. The time is afoot that it could be quite perilous to publicly profess your love for Jesus. And if that is the case we are not going to be looking for a leader in the mold of Dr Lee, Dr. Pollard or Dr. Rogers. God sees people's traits, both good and bad, as lumps of clay for him to mold (lest we forget the Apostle Paul's disposition to Christians before he was enlightened). It just may be that the traits that Dr. Gaines possesses are not desirable but necessary for God to mold the next leader of Bellevue for the times ahead.

In the past, God sent this church an architect to lay out the path to salvation. When it became necessary, he sent us a Shepard to keep us from straying form the path to salvation. Later, to educate the flock, God sent us a teacher to show us the ultimate destination of the path to salvation. Maybe now God has sent us a warrior to defend the flock on the path to salvation.

RM said...

Oldtimer,

That is absolutely the best post I have ever read on a Bellevue blog. Hopefully people will heed your advice.

PS If you get tired of Memphis, come to Dallas and join us!

SallySherlock said...

Oldtimer,

Thank you for your interesting thoughts. I see the same perils on the horizon and you may be correct about the characteristics needed to lead the church in the future. However, IF (this has neither been proven nor disproven) we have a man with integrity issues, he should not remain our pastor. In that instance, he would have blown the responsibility he was called to by compromising himself.

Anonymous said...

“And the fool on the hill saw the sun going down and the eyes in his head saw the world going round.” The wisdom of God seems so often to be foolishness to men yet it is the one who is foolish for God that sees more nearly what God sees. So often I would give anything…anything to have a piece of God’s perspective. When I ask God for His perspective, I can almost always hear Him say: Child, with all that I have provided…. Obey and I will make your way straight and your ways will more and more become like mine and you will see a little more from My perspective”.

Today God has given us a piece of His perspective. Thank you “Oldtimer”. May we rejoice together in the Lord always and in all ways.

Anonymous said...

i appreciate your post and thank you for sharing your heart.

I too believe that Pastor Steve was called by the LORD to Bellevue but for what purpose or plan, no one truly can say. Only in the rearview mirror of life will we know, so as the old hymn goes, "Further along, we`ll know more about it, Further along we`ll understand why" but I would amiss to just leave my thoughts here.

Reguardless of your comparison of Dr. Pollard tp Pastor Steve, I must say that should our Pastor be found less than truthful, he would not be the right man for any season.

Truth is a mainstay, a cornerstone, a must for every believer and we can expect no less from our Pastor. Shepherds are called to lead the flock in Truth, to equipt the Saints with Truth, and Should we accept less than a truthful Pastor, then we would be asking for less of JESUS himself, who is the Truth.

It is my desire to see our Pastor as pure and I pray not one allegation is true but should it be, then I pray he repents before GOD and men and that he steps aside for the good of Christ`s church and the same for each person who is found on the otherside of Christ`s word.

I would also like to reflect on what the Bible teaches us about arrogance.

Arrogance is a sin, not a attribute and the Bible also teaches us that the LORD would have his servants to be humble, bold, and courageous but never arrogant.

Remember my friend, that uur battles are of the Spirit, not of flesh and blood and with that we must not conclude that we need anyone to defend the flock in their own strength, no matter the season.

Again I appreciate your thoughts and I hope you find my own worthy of your time in reading.

For His Glory!

RM said...

One Member,

When you put up a blog for all to see don't complain when people around the world view it. I have been a strong supporter of Bellevue for over 25 years so please don't be so condescending. No wonder you folks are having troubles. By the way, I will continue to read and comment as long as I see fit.

Ed T. said...

FYI, according to the Communications Committee, the wording of the "statement of support" is not in its final form as of Sunday night (Nov 12).

ET

Tim said...

And so now it is a statment of non-support. This conitnues to have less and less to do with Bellevue Baptist Church and more and more to with church politics.

Attention: Deacons serve the church and its membership, if that includes supporting the pastor by all means do so. However, if it includes investigating and reprimanding or even removing the pastor, give us your confidence that you will do that also.

Quit posturing and posing, none of you are going to make the swimsuit edition of "Todays Christian".

New BBC Open Forum said...

rm,

Ditto everything "sw&w" said. And I'd just add to that, "And please don't heap more even hurt on us with your accusatory comments. You don't know nearly as much about all this as you think you do."

allofgrace said...

rm,
I've seen a few of you pastors come on here to chastise everyone here for this forum. I've checked out a few of you guys' blogs and websites...from what I saw, most of you have no business pointing fingers at anyone. You go on your own blogs and websites, trumpeting your own viewpoints, while thrashing your fellow pastors and anyone else who doesn't agree with you, from pastors in your own neighborhoods to denominational leaders. Take a break...you have the rest of your life to straighten out all us sinners.

Tim said...

Just a quick note and then I have to be off to get some work done.

It may not be news to anyone, but it is my understanding that David Bishop has resigned as a Deacon. It appears that the unanimous deacons (little "d" on purpose) are getting closer every day to becoming unanimous.

Unknown said...

I'm not good at quoting scripture, but I think God speaks to me through music as well so I thought I'd post this song. It just says to me that God is in control, regardless of what his sheep are up to:


Phillips Craig & Dean - You Are God Alone

You are not a god
Created by human hands
You are not a god
Dependant on any mortal man
You are not a god
In need of anything we can give
By Your plan, that’s just the way it is

Chorus:
You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
Your are God alone
And right now
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone

You’re the only God
Whose power none can contend
You’re the only God
Whose name and praise will never end
You’re the only God
Who’s worthy of everything we can give
You are God
And that’s just the way it is

New BBC Open Forum said...

choice,

I was merely speaking my opinion which was voiced by several others here. Why don't we agree to just not discuss Mr. Bratton here at all, or you and he going to other sites and witnessing or whatever your plans are? Maybe you and Mike should continue to discuss all this privately and not bring those issues here at all since it really has nothing to do with Bellevue.

Respectfully,

NBBCOF

Tim said...

NASS,

You are correct in this if Choice & Mike would like to correspond there are other venues that the should choose.

I believe it was our beloved "Rick Warren" who said it's not about Mike.

Tim said...

A thought occured to me concerning the idea that Deacons that would not sign or laymen that did not support such a pledge were anti-Bellevue.

The thought is this. Aren't those that are against abortion called anti-abortion and yet they call themselves pro-life. The pro-abortionist call themselves pro-choice. So which is right, what is the correct terminology.

If there are those that choose to refer to me as anti-Bellevue, because I do not support our pastor in what he has been doing, then so be it.

I would like to expound on the things are indisputable about what our pastor has been doing. The "he said / she said" arguments have little or no influnce upon my opinion.

1. Our pastor has lied to us both knowingly and willingly from the pulpit.

2. Our pastor has abused the pulpit to propagate self serving and self promoting sermons.

3. OUr pastor has mocked us, both before he came to be our pastor and after he came to be our pastor.

4. Our pastor has at the very least been instrumental in the removal from our staff of what we know to be good and Godly men.

5. OUr pastor has belittled those that do not agree with him and will not submit to his supreme authority.

6. Our pastor has done nothing to gather our church together and lead as a shepherd should.

..7..8..9..This list could continue on and on. These are items that are not slanderous. We have witnessed and are sure that these things are true. There are no unfounded accusations that are made in this list.

Now, should or Deacon body not stand and oppose such actions. By the grace of God, we know that they should. Does that mean that it will be a pleasant process? Absolutely, not.

Has it come to a point where the only alternative is to remove Dr. Gaines our accept his resignation. Indeed and sadly I must say that I belive that it has. A reprimand and an apology to the church body at this point would have no similance of sincerity. It would appear to me that even if Dr. Gaines were to make a public apology today, after all that he has put our church thru, would be nothing more than an attempt to keep his "job", which is something that it never should have been in the first place.

I have become so wearied by the constant and consistent attempts to "spin" the truth and play politics within the church that I must come along side my Brother Mark sharpe and call for Dr. Gaines to resign.

Tim said...

ezekiel,

Amen and Amen. This is not a matter of style or prefernce but of Biblical principle and we should not be required to suffer thru while a pastor struggles to grasp that.

MOM4 said...

Pastor David and others,
When Steve Gaines was petitioned to come to Bellevue, he told the search committee that he would wait one year before he made any changes. Yet, he immediately went about tearing down what those who had gone before him took years of labor in love and dedication to the principles of the Lord to build.
He disregarded not only our feelings as a congregation, but those on staff. We who were and are suffering the loss of Dr Rogers and the dedication of faithful men of God who were serving under him.
He not only lied to the search committee to get the job, but I would assume that he would have had to lie to Dr Rogers as well about making changes too quickly. Dr Rogers was a wise man and I can truly believe that he would have discussed proposed changes and the need to move slowly during the times of transition. When Dr Rogers went home to glory, Steve Gaines already had his plan in motion to gut the leadership and put his own people in play. That would have been fine, and we all expected changes, but not vicious and heartless tactics from him and those to whom he had bestowed "power" to form his inner circle.
Those of you who are commenting have not sat in his self serving and arrogant sermons, watched while the choir dwindles away and seen the tears in the eyes of the seniors as they are shoved aside. The childcare workers are leaving, the tithers are sending their love offerings to other carefully chosen worthy causes, and the staff is afraid to speak for fear of retribution.
At what point would think enough is enough? Are you aware of all of his personal agenda issues, does any of the above sound like a man after God's own heart? The fact is, it does not matter whether he put something on a credit card or a charge account, the man lies and has lied to the search committee and if for no other reason than that, he should resign in shame.

Anonymous said...

David- thanks for the post, but the issues of credit card abuse, music, leadership, worship style, rude behavior, etc. are secondary to the problem of honest communication. A "firewall" has been erected between pastor and people. All but two of the pastor search committee are now serving on the new Communication Committee. In other words, the group of people who called Steve Gaines to Bellevue are now the very committee who are defending his actions. The reason for this blog and others is because the people have no direct access to the pastor. I will be kind and say that the truth has been twisted concerning the salary process, use of credit cards, meeting with Mark Sharp, Craig Parker, David Smith, Jim Whitmire...the list goes on. Of course every pastor has his own way of leading and communicating, but the "best practices" taught in seminary include; dealing with and loving people, respecting differences, openly communicating, and truth-telling which are not being observed. The faults of the last year have been rookie mistakes. The issues are truth and trustworthiness, so let the pastor speak directly to the people.

Tim said...

The same person that taught us that standing alone with the truth was better than standing with a crowd in a lie.

Unknown said...

Pastor David,

While I'm sure you mean well, this has been going on for over a year and I don't feel it's your place to condemn us now. Thanks for your concern and continue to pray for BBC.

1john3,

Don't forget he can't preach on Wednesday nights, but finds time to preach for i2 on Thursday nights. And he also finds time to be out of the pulpit at least once a month if not more from now until December.

mom4 said "Steve Gaines already had his plan in motion to gut the leadership and put his own people in play." The following list shows how Steve Gaines/BBC Leadership has dealt with Dr. Whitmire, which has been my main problem since the beginning:

1. Mark D. was the one that stripped Jim of the Minister of Music title.
2. Mark D. used his authority to undercut Jim's authority and made the working environment horrible for Jim.
3. Mark D. forced Jim to use the Praise Team full time.
4. When Steve arrived, he basically ignored Jim.
5. Jim wanted to stay at BBC until after the S. Baptist Convention in June 2006 - Steve said no.
6. Jamie and Dana were looking to buy a house here in Memphis in October 2005.
7. Steve made Jim take Jaime to the SBC - while there, BBC choir had an opportunity to sing for the convention for about 30 minutes; Jaime turned it down.


Karen

Unknown said...

Pastor David,

You wrote:

1. May I ask: Has anyone gone to the forum the deacons are offering on Sunday morning?

Actually it's a Commucations Committee and only 2 deacons are on it. That's addressed on the Communications Committee thread of this blog.

2. And: Doesn’t the church have a business meeting (please don’t’ accuse me of not reading EVERYTHING... remember, I’m employed and don’t have time to read everything!). Typically I picture church discipline and serious church discussions happening at business meeting. If you are a non-profit organization, at least an annual business meeting is required by law.

NO! We haven't had a business meeting in I don't know how long - that's one of the reasons the blog came about.

MOM4 said...

Karen,
Those were things I did not know. I am sick to my stomach when I think about all of the horrible ways our fellow brothers and sisers in Christ have been treated by this man and his power team. In times like these, my heart goes back to Jeremiah 23. That is my prayer.
The Lord is moving and working in ways we do not see at this time, but like I have said before, He has not moved us to another church and He has not given us peace about leaving, so He has a plan for us to remain for this season anyway. The damage that has been done can not be repaired, but we can move forward when the truth is known and reconcile where it is necessary and forgive where forgiveness is needed, but there are consequences for sin, even the sins of a pastor.

New BBC Open Forum said...

david wrote:

"I spent considerable time looking through your website.

"How can he be scattering you when M.S. refused to meet with the pastor and deacons?"

"Sounds to me like Dr. Gaines and deacons even went to the home of his accuser, and then was further accused of harassment. Was he not following the very words of Scripture? If someone has something against us, did not the Lord say to go immediately to that person?


Sir, I'm confused by your statements above. If, as you said, you have spent "considerable time" reading through the comments on this forum, then how could you possibly make the second two statements?

Mark Sharpe didn't refuse to meet with Steve Gaines or the deacons. He in fact met with Steve Gaines alone at first and was reportedly not openly received. He requested a meeting with the deacon body, only to be refused -- by Dr. Gaines. So it's not the way you stated. It's in fact the exact opposite.

As for your second statement, again, if you've read much at all (see the "Fence" thread) you would have seen that Mr. Sharpe was not at home when Pastor Gaines and three other men (the associate pastor, chairman of the deacons, and a former chairman of deacons) all climbed over a 4-foot tall fence surrounding a gated community (which was clearly marked with "No Trespassing" signs) and knocked on his door. They didn't bother to call first. After not finding him at home Dr. Gaines made no further attempt to contact Mark Sharpe. Oh, I forgot. According to Mark Sharpe who states this was heard by two witnesses, Dr. Gaines called him late at night three days later and called him "Hezbollah" and stated he was "sending people to hell" (which isn't even Scriptural which I'm sure you know). Does that sound like someone with reconciliation on his mind?

I don't think the Bible tells us to break man's law just to go talk with someone when you can pick up the phone and make an appointment. Of course they didn't have phones back in Bible days, but they didn't have cars or gated communities either. However, surely you get the idea.

Anonymous said...

Karen: I for one would love to know where you got your list about Dr. Whitmire from?

you might want to make sure you have the facts straight before posting for all the world to see.

this is a perfect example how rumors start and why we are where we are today. people just say stuff and others believe them and everything snowballs from there.

Who said...

Guys,

It is with great trepidation that I speak up again, but let me say this.

I've read from a few of you (stated as fact) that the Pastor has misused his credit card.

THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE.

Even the "Saving"Bellevue website has (finally) recanted this.

Unfortunately, by the posting of this slanderous lie, damage has already been done.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

Anonymous said...

I continue to see post after post that contain personal preferences etc. I have asked and will ask again. where is the Sin?? where are the Sins Brother Steve and others have committed. I want facts, not rumors. not he said, she said. what Sins have been committed?

regarding all the "changes" that have been made. can someone please list for me all these major changes and the problems they have with them. we are back to personal preferences are we not?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I will let Karen answer. but trust me, that information/list did not come from the Communications Committee.

Who said...

choice_is_yours said "Can you help with something?"

I will try. What can I help you with?

Feel free to e.mail me if you wish.

dcalcote@msn.com

Anonymous said...

1john3: this is the 2nd or 3rd time I have had to try and correct the info that you and others are putting out about Wed, nights. Brother Steve said that on Wed. nights he meets with committee's, youth groups, etc etc. he does that on Wed. nights so that the OTHER nights of the week he can spend more time with his family.

Brother Steve has made some GREAT "changes" and this is one of them. a great one. we used to have committee meetings almost every night of the week. people were spending lots of time away from their families. many of those same meetings are now held on Wed. and Sunday's. Days that most are already on campus. that "change" came from Brother Steve. he wants us spending time with our families.

in the future, I hope you and others post the facts about Wed. night AND what Brother Steve said!!

for what it is worth many of these Wed. night revivals etc have been scheduled for a long time. the future will be different and that is known

Brother Steve has been a true blessing to me and my family.

MOM4 said...

SW&W,
We are still waiting clarification on the credit card issue. I stated earlier today, that although it may have not been on a credit card, it was a personal charge to the church and there are other charges under scrutinity as well. This violates our provisions under our 501(C)3 status (tax-exempt). Even if he did pay it back, we do not know if he paid the taxes on the purchase and even then, it is a potential violation. Mark Dougharty should know that and so should Chip Freeman and should have discouraged it from the beginning. I have no problem with a one time mistake he may have made, and I am sure no one else would either, but why cover it up?
And Steve Gaines DID lie to the search committee -How many lies does it take to make you a liar?

Anonymous said...

no, the "problems" at Bellevue do not stem from Mark D. and yes, that has come up several times

Who said...

stillwaitingandwatching said: "Okay... the credit card stuff is not true. Can you please take your focus off of that one issue and address the other concerns on this forum, since you appear to have answers. Forcing focus on the credit card issue is a diversionary tactic from the other issues.....address the issue concerning Dr. Whitmire for starters. Thank you."

With all due respect, it is hard for me to take the focus off of the credit card thing when it something that people keep slandering the pastor over. And unlike other issues there is not and issue of "he said she said" so to speak, as the facts speak for themselves, but still the slander continues.

As far as the thing with Dr. Whitmire goes, everyone from Pastor Gaines on down says that was handled poorly. So the question is not "Was this handled poorly?" It was. The question is "Where do we go from here?"

All I can say about that is that the Pastor, the staff, the communications committee, and the deacons all see setting things right with the Whitmires, and also the music ministry as a whole as the #1 priority.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote
dcalcote@msn.com

Anonymous said...

what kind of business meeting do some of you want? 7000+ people and an open mic?

with the things I have read and heard on here and other sites and all over town, a "business" meeting would likely be a disaster

Tim said...

HisServant said...
I continue to see post after post that contain personal preferences etc. I have asked and will ask again. where is the Sin?? where are the Sins Brother Steve and others have committed. I want facts, not rumors. not he said, she said. what Sins have been committed?

1. Our pastor has lied to us both knowingly and willingly from the pulpit. He knew that one of the reasons that he would not be preaching on Wednesday nights was because he had other speaking engagements. What we were told is a half truth and therefore a whole lie. Lying is a sin. Period.

2. Our pastor has abused the pulpit to propagate self serving and self promoting sermons. Anyone that wants to help me back this up join on in. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. Serving yourself and not God is a sin. Period.

3. OUr pastor has mocked us, both before he came to be our pastor and after he came to be our pastor. I believe both episodes occured in Union City. Belittling the flock that you are tend and love is a sin. Period.

4. Our pastor has at the very least been instrumental in the removal from our staff of what we know to be good and Godly men. Enough said to that look at the mass exedous of our church staff. Seeking to promote yourself by removing those in authority that may oppose you is sin. Period.

5. OUr pastor has belittled those that do not agree with him and will not submit to his supreme authority. Most of this occuring within his "sermons" in the pulpit of Bellevue, the meetings with the Deacons, at sister churchs. Again lying to the members of this sister church, claiming unanimous support, and that all the strife was caused by 3 or 4 in discent. Lying is a sin. Period.

6. Our pastor has done nothing to gather our church together and lead as a shepherd should. This is self evident. Not to mention the fact that he had opportunity after opprotunity to have addressed these problems and was to arrogant to allow any one to question "his integrity". Yes, arrogance is sin. Period.



..7..8..9..This list could continue on and on. Sin is Sin. Period. The fence is not "itty bitty". A mistake of the mind and not the heart (which I doubt), but nevertheless is sin. Period.

What of this can you deny as sin? Perhaps we should redefine sin so that it is not so of Dr. Gaines. God Forbid.

Anonymous said...

Mom4: your posts AMAZE me. you post as if everything you type is fact. it is the exact opposite. and NO, Brother Steve did not like to the Search Committee. far from it. remember, many are also mad that he was so blunt and open with the search committee during the process.

which is it?

again, he did not lie to the Search Committee.

it amazes me that you and others sit on the board and disrespect God's anointed and call him a liar. you have NO facts and it shows. but you do have plenty of he said, she said rumors.

can we please stop slandering God's anointed. please

Unknown said...

hisservant wrote:

Karen: I for one would love to know where you got your list about Dr. Whitmire from?

you might want to make sure you have the facts straight before posting for all the world to see.

this is a perfect example how rumors start and why we are where we are today. people just say stuff and others believe them and everything snowballs from there.


My parents are VERY close the Whitmires and they got it from them. We've watched the Dr. Whitmire debacle more closely than anything else that's gone on the past year. I do know of which I speak and I will defend it vigorously. I just hope Mark D. doesn't climb my fence tonight - oh wait, I don't have one.

Thanks for defending me stillwaiting..... :)

Derrick,

I really do apologize for bringing Dr. Whitmire up again - you're right. Nothing more could have been gained from bringing it up. I'm sorry. My flesh got the better of me when Pastor David posted. I really do apologize - I just got ticked off.


Pastor David,

"Condemn" was the wrong word choice on my part - I apologize to you as well.

Karen

Tim said...

I suppose it is my personal preference that we have a pastor that does not SIN in the pulpit, a pastor that does not SIN in deacon meetings, that does not SIN in his relation to staff members, that does not SIN in relation to his congregation. I am seriously going to have to get over this appaul that I have for sin. This is after all a new era and we are under new leadership with different methods of doing things. SIN.

Tim said...

Isn't that the new "Rick Warren" principle.

(S)top others tha oppose you.
(I)nvite them to leave
(N)ever admit that you are wrong.

Tim said...

We have begged...begged for an open business meeting and instead we have got an informational meeting. That is one where the pastor talks and those that he wants to talk, talk and everyone else listens.

And not one thing was done before the original blog was started. Not one thing.

Who said...

CIY,

While your impression that I enjoy some "official" status conferred to me by either the deacon body or leadership is appreciated, it is not accurate. And I assure you anytime I post it is with great trepidation.

The profitably of anyone posting here (including me) is very suspect. It can not be expressed how conflicted I feel when I post here.

1/2 of me says, "Look! There is something that is being said that you know is not true! Share the truth!" All the while the other 1/2 of me says I should not participate at all.

Sister Karen stated in the "Communications" thread that she we disappointed that there were so few people at the Sunday meeting asking questions. I shared her disappointment. It is much preferable for people to get information from people who have facts at hand, than to speculate either here or around our water-coolers.

As far as the anonymity thing goes, let us not go there, as it is a rabbit that does not need to be chased. Suffice it to say that my opinion differs from yours on that issue, which is why I sign my name to my posts.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote
dcalcote@msn.com

MOM4 said...

His servant,
HMMMM, have you polled the search committee to know IF he promised not to make changes. I was told that they were "assured" more than once. I have done my homework. Maybe the "committee" should research this before you call Me the liar. I am amazed that no one is checking out these "allegations".

Unknown said...

Derrick,

I really do apologize for bringing Dr. Whitmire up again - you're right. Nothing more could have been gained from bringing it up. I'm sorry. My flesh got the better of me when Pastor David posted. I really do apologize - I just got ticked off.

Just wanted to make sure you saw this in the flurry of posts this afternoon. You and I sat face to face (we didn't speak much), but you saw the hurt on mine and my mother's faces; mom cried and you know it.

The Whitmire thing will never be resolved to my satisfactions and I'll just have to ask for God's peace with it.

Karen

Unknown said...

Derrick,

I am glad you're posting again. For awhile there I thought you were "hisservant". :)

Tim said...

Derrick,

Refute the truth of any thing that I have said. It is not "he said / she said" allegations. We have been witnesses and are sure that it is true. You can listen to most of it with your own ears, if you have not already and you will then know that it is the truth. As for the "communications committee", I am well familar with most of those on the committee. One particularly who said "We don't even want to see those receipts pastor". Perhaps they would prefer to communicate with stupid sheep.

Who said...

SWAW said, "I am so glad that the leadership has finally acknowledged, after a year, that that was handled poorly. Now, I can assure you that a public apology, to every member of the Whitmire family, the choir, music ministry, and the church family would go a VERY long way towards reconciliation.

I pray that this happens very soon. Thank you for addressing my concern."

Thank you for your kind words and also for the advice.

All I can tell you is I know that great efforts are being made on this front. Efforts do not always equal progress, especially in the short term.

Please join me in praying for our Lord to be glorified through reconciliation among Dr. and Mrs. Whitmire, Pastor Gaines, the staff, the choir, and the music department as a whole.

This is where I feel our biggest challenge lies. In my heart I feel that if things can be set right on these fronts, that the other details will fall in to place.

Again, please join me in prayer for this.

Derrick Calcote

Unknown said...

Isn't the "essence" of sin, a sin? For example (oh here goes Karen with the word pictures - LOL) if somebody from BBC sees me out at any bar here in town and I cause them to stumble in their Christian walk, is that sin on my part. I went to the bar to get hot wings; just have good hot wings. But the way it looks to someone else - me being in a bar where a Christian should not be - is that sin?

All that to say this: If Steve Gaines is giving the LOOK of impropriety in any issues that have been brought up on this blog, is that sin? If not, why not?

OK: BIG DISCLAIMER: I don't eat hot wings in bars, nor do I know if Steve Gaines eats hot wings in bars so PLEASE don't say I said it; I didn't imply or infer it either.

Karen

Tim said...

This is not the essense of sin, it is flat out willful, blatant, intentional, arrogant sin.

Unknown said...

Tim,

I agree with you, but I want to see how much impropriety is actually sin - get my point? :)

Who said...

Karen,

Please check your e.mail.

Thanks,

Derrick

Tim said...

True, I thought that I understood, but wanted to clarify.

I am happy to report that there is no one with the unimitigated arrogance to argue the irrefutable areas of continous sin that are evident in our pastor.

With that said why would any of our deacons have the slightest inkling to sign a pledge of loyalty to this man, especially considering that there has been no repentance, nor do I believe any will come.

Anonymous said...

Tim posted: 1. Our pastor has lied to us both knowingly and willingly from the pulpit. He knew that one of the reasons that he would not be preaching on Wednesday nights was because he had other speaking engagements. What we were told is a half truth and therefore a whole lie. Lying is a sin. Period.

REPLY: NO, he did not lie about that. it is very simple and has been explained 100 times.

2. Our pastor has abused the pulpit to propagate self serving and self promoting sermons. Anyone that wants to help me back this up join on in. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. Serving yourself and not God is a sin. Period.

REPLY: so he should change what has been SCHEDULED for months and months?? NO. He needs to preach the Word of God just as he is doing. God's timing is perfect. God knew we would be going through this at this time. these sermons have been scheduled for months. Brother Steve should NEVER change what is God has laid on heart because he might step on some toes. because you or someone else does not think it is good timing. i think many should spend the time searching their own hearts that they are spending on Brother Steve and others. YOU do not know the heart of Brother Steve and the Bible backs that up VERY clearly.

3. OUr pastor has mocked us, both before he came to be our pastor and after he came to be our pastor. I believe both episodes occured in Union City. Belittling the flock that you are tend and love is a sin. Period.


REPLY: Union City was probably not a good choice and he knows that, but a Sin? I have NO problem with what Brother Steve said that Sunday night in Gardendale. NOT ONE. and it sure was not a Sin.



4. Our pastor has at the very least been instrumental in the removal from our staff of what we know to be good and Godly men. Enough said to that look at the mass exedous of our church staff. Seeking to promote yourself by removing those in authority that may oppose you is sin. Period.

REPLY: your facts are wrong and not a Sin

5. OUr pastor has belittled those that do not agree with him and will not submit to his supreme authority. Most of this occuring within his "sermons" in the pulpit of Bellevue, the meetings with the Deacons, at sister churchs. Again lying to the members of this sister church, claiming unanimous support, and that all the strife was caused by 3 or 4 in discent. Lying is a sin. Period.


REPLY: disagree greatly


6. Our pastor has done nothing to gather our church together and lead as a shepherd should. This is self evident. Not to mention the fact that he had opportunity after opprotunity to have addressed these problems and was to arrogant to allow any one to question "his integrity". Yes, arrogance is sin. Period.


REPLY: that is your view and not the view of many!



..7..8..9..This list could continue on and on. Sin is Sin. Period. The fence is not "itty bitty". A mistake of the mind and not the heart (which I doubt), but nevertheless is sin. Period.

REPLY: he said he was sorry about the fence deal and hs said it straight to MS and others. end of story.

how would you like for someone to make a list of everything you have done wrong (Sins etc) over the last year?? to attack your family and everything you stand for in every way possible??

this site is full of lies and slander and rumors. as I have said before, even if Brother Steve was guilty of everything on your list you have no right to slander him or anyone else in a public forum or anywhere else for that matter.

Dot said...

Derrick Calcote;

Can you tell us what Dr. Gaines and others admit was handled "poorly' regarding Dr. Whitmire? Be specific if you don't mind.

Anonymous said...

the Rick Warren stuff is almost funny to me. there is NOTIHNG being done at Bellevue that is Rick Warren like! the exact opposite.

Thanks for your posts Derrick and Choice. that attitude will get us somewhere!

Tim said...

I too am over joyed at the prospect of having a reconcilliation take place with Dr. Whitmire and it will indeed be a start, but I feel by no means that it should end there.

Our pastor needs to reconcile the congretation as well.

Anonymous said...

many of you claim Matthew 18 has not been able to be fulfilled and are using that as a crutch and an excuse for this blog and other things. there is NO excuse.

where in matt 18 does it talk about a time limit? where does it say if things cannot be handled according to matt 18 than you have the "right" to do whatever it takes?? where? many think Matt 18 has been tried by both sides. that is not the point though. the point is, there is no excuse for this blog and others. some still have concerns and that is fine and ok, but do things the right way. slander and lies and feeding off of each other is not the right way. many have admitted they have let their emotions get the best of them etc. the entire WORLD is seeing this.

some have stated that you have the "right". you are Americans and you have the "right".

the real question should be do you have a right as a Christian. if we are truly dead to Self as we should be, we have NO rights. our rights, emotions, etc etc are not ours if we are a child of God.

Unknown said...

Let's be clear - we're still hoping and praying for Dr. Whitmire's reconcilliation with Steve Gaines and Steve Gaines/Jaime Parker's reconcilliation with the choir. As I said on the Communications Committee thread, Steve Tucker said (Derrick was there), the Committee will be meeting with the choir in groups of about 20 to see what issues need to be addressed and reconcilled. Steve Tucker also made it clear that the choir will not be required to sign anything - an oath, or whatever.

Just to make that clear.

Karen

New BBC Open Forum said...

hisservant wrote:

"the Rick Warren stuff is almost funny to me. there is NOTIHNG being done at Bellevue that is Rick Warren like! the exact opposite."

Are we talking about the "Bellevue" in Cordova, Tennessee? Just wondering. There are many things being done at the Bellevue in Cordova that are very Rick Warren like. Plenty of examples have been discussed in earlier threads, so I need not list them all here.

NASS

Unknown said...

hisservant,

You said "where in matt 18 does it talk about a time limit?"
I'm not a Bible scholar, but doesn't Matthew 18, in essence, say go to your brother once, then twice then be done? Isn't that a "time line"? Mark Sharpe did all that. Just wondering.

This blog came out of the frustration of the failure of Matthew 18 - not before it was attempted and rebuffed by BBC leadership.

Unknown said...

truth hunter,

Thank you, thank you and thank you!

Who said...

BBCMember,

Sorry I can't be more specific as I do not know the details. Honestly I do not really thing it is my right, or place to know all the details.

But I am glad that sincere efforts at reconciliation are being made.

Again, sorry I can't be of help there.

Who said...

SWAW said: "My dear Brother Derrick....I could NOT agree more with EVERYTHING you just said. I will ABSOLUTELY join you in prayer as I, too, believe the manner in which this one issue is dealt with will chart the chourse towards progress on every other issue. PRAISE THE LORD!!!! There has been MUCH progress made here today!! If I could I would pick you up, swing you around and kiss you all over the face with joy....but my mother taught me picking up guys was not lady like! :)"

Thank you so much for joining me in prayer. I will be meeting with a small group to pray for our church tonight, and rest assured this will on the top of my list.

As to the kissing thing... much appreciated, but I suspect my sweet wife might take more of an issue with that than even your mom!
;-)

Seriously though, thank you so much. This is a very important thing for us all to pray towards.

Tim said...

HisServant,

So your answers are

1) A half truth is not a lie and therefore not sin.
That is new theology and I reject it completely.

2) The pastor should be able to use the pulpit for his own personal agenda, whether it is doctrinally sound or not.
Well, that is a doctrine from some where other than the Bible.

3) The pastor can say anything he would likes to anyone he likes and it might be a poor choice but not sin.
Since we are all called as priest in Christ I suppose that would give me the right to say to you whatever would be in poor taste and judgement. I see more unsound doctrine.

4) Since you believe that my facts are wrong, then it can not be sin.
So if my facts are proven to be correct I assume that you will confess this item to be sin?

5) Obviously you have not heard the message that was at Union City. Listen to it and then explain how lying and claiming unanimous support from the church and deacons is not a lie when it was fully known not to be the truth. Tell me how this is not sin.
Theology is not your strong point is it.

6) Many do not view things the way I do as far as whether he has shepherded our church.
Well, name one thing that has been done as a good shepherd to tend the flock.

7..8..etc) He made a joke of an apology with no sincerity whatsoever. Minimized the fact that it was sin by calling it a mistake and proceeded to joke more about it.

How would I like it? First I am in the business world and indeed I am confronted with sin daily. I am guilty of sin daily. I however, recognize my sin, repent of my sin, ask forgivness from those that I have sinned against and would gladly parade every person that has had contact with me in the past year across the platform of Bellevue Baptist Church and allow them to speak what ever they would to any one that would listen and keep my silence while it was done.

I am a member of the body and I therefore have every right to hold my pastor accountable to the Word of God.

Sin is Sin. Period.
You my dear brother may choose to sugar coat these issues if you choose, but it will make it no less sin and by doing so you will draw yourself into the same sin.

New BBC Open Forum said...

truth hunter:

Thank you.

Who said...

Thanks for sharing that Karen,

And FWIW at the risk of getting this thread back on topic, ;-) you are correct. The choir or others won't have to sign anything.

The deacon thing was actually a motion made from a member of the deacon body out of a desire to show our support of the pastor.

It is my understanding that the wording on it is being tweaked to clarify that a) we do support our pastor and b) our allegiance is to the Lord.

I'm no word-smith, but the motion as it was written doesn't clearly match up with what the intent of what we are saying is.

Tim said...

David,

Why does the legitamcy of this blog concern you more than the sin of our pastor?

Tim said...

David,

Also, I believe you should ask Dr. Gaines, how the brides husband will feel. We are just trying to protect that bride in the husbands absense.

Tim said...

The legitamcy of this blog is that it is designed to protect the church, which is the Bride of Christ and he will honor that.

Tim said...

MKW,

This can not be dropped until it is completed. There is no agenda here other than to return our church to place of respect and integrity.

To say that something good has started so now we should all just wait is absurd. We have been waiting we have been hearing it and nothing happened absolutely nothing until the first blog was begun.

Tim said...

It took almost a year for word to come that things had been "handled poorly" and that would not have come about in the absense of this blog. I sincerely hope that it will progress from there, but I seriously doubt it.

As much as I appreciate Derrick's willingness to share with us, he has been a great source of misinformation.

Tim said...

mkw,

certianly it could be dropped at any time. You sort of missed the point there. The point was it must not be dropped.

Who said...

"Truth Hunter"

Such venom.

And as gently as I can, allow me to say... so much untruth, half truth & judgment.

I hardly know where to start. I'm not going to address it all, but let me chime in on a few things. (Trying hard to stay away from the "he said, she said" issues)

***"After all, what can he say about: arrogance"

Your judgment. While I don't know him well, I think I know him better than you, and find him amazingly humble. Some will disagree (especially here) but it is a matter of personal judgment.

***"accepting kickbacks for holy land trips"

He is accepting free tickets and giving them to others, exactly the way Dr. Rogers did. While Dr. Rogers is not "the standard" to everyone, to many at Bellevue he really was. If you wish to be consistent, I would expect you would condemn Dr. Rogers as well?

***"allowing the church to pay for a country club membership with tithes"

In the past the church maintained a membership at the Cresent Club for Pastor Rogers to take visitors out for private meals. At Bob Sorrel's suggestion they did a similar thing for the same purpose with Pastor Gaines at Colonial. It was not used much so at the Pastors suggestion, they canceled the membership.


***"shamelessly promoting his book through a Bible study"

The cost for a 10 week bible study where they provide breakfast every morning, a copy of the book, and all other incidentals is a whopping $10. It is hardly a profit center for the pastor or anyone. It is a ministry, that I for one am thankful for. (I've been attending.)

***kicking a deacon out for having the temerity to question his actions

This is untrue. No deacon has been "kicked off." And in fact a few active deacons asked quite a few pointed questions at the last deacons' meeting and they have not been "kicked off."

I can't really go further at this time, as it is difficult to reply to all this in the right spirit.

But anyway... we all need to work hard towards reconciliation. And forgive me for saying this, but I don't sense any heart for reconciliation in your post.

Tim said...

mkw,

Yes, I do say that it absurd to say, "Well, they say it will be ok, It is getting worked out. Let's just all pack up and go home." I am staying until it is done.

I have read one after another of Derricks comments and seen them time and time again proven to be incorrect. I do appreciate his willingness to try and inform us.

So how does this make me arrogant.

Tim said...

David,

So let me see if I understand you correctly blogging is not Bibilical so therefore it should stop.

May I also so say that light bulbs aren't mentioned in the Bible, so are you still using lamps and candles.

Who said...

Tim said: "It took almost a year for word to come that things had been "handled poorly" and that would not have come about in the absense of this blog. I sincerely hope that it will progress from there, but I seriously doubt it."

That did not come about from this blog. I've been sharing that with people in one on one settings for months now. The pastor shared that from his heart at the first deacon's meeting on this topic and I've shared it with many others since then.

Tim said "As much as I appreciate Derrick's willingness to share with us, he has been a great source of misinformation."

I think that is the second time today you've said that. (It may have been someone else the first time but I think it was you.)

I let it slide the first time, but since you press on with it I do not think your opinion is accurate, and hopefully it is not shared by many.

Tim said...

Derrick,

Was it not you that said, beyond any shadow of a doubt the credit card issue was over, nothing ever happened and now we find out differently or was that someone else.

Mind you the credit card issue is just a small issue in this whole big mess.

Tim said...

David,

So you are saying that Matthew 18 has been fulfilled or will be allowed to be fulfilled.

Who said...

Tim said: "I have read one after another of Derricks comments and seen them time and time again proven to be incorrect. I do appreciate his willingness to try and inform us."

There was a semantic disagreement about whether deacon's tithing records are checked on.

I maintain they are not (as they do not know what any deacon makes) others maintain that they do since they do ask finance if it appears a deacon is giving before he is ordained. (Just like they have for MANY years I might add.)

So with that being addressed, kindly point out three other examples of of of the times and times that again that I've been proven to be incorrect.

Tim said...

David,

Also be realistic, buddy, since when is questioning you and trying to understand your point of view and indication of hate. Really.

Who said...

Re: Credit cards

"Was it not you that said, beyond any shadow of a doubt the credit card issue was over, nothing ever happened and now we find out differently or was that someone else.

Mind you the credit card issue is just a small issue in this whole big mess."

It was me that said that, (or something like that) and I maintain that it is correct.

If you haven't noticed the "SavingBellevue" folks have recanted and put of a psudo-apology for their saying that Pastor Gaines lied about the credit card.

Tim said...

Derrick,

Was it not you who said that the deacon body was unanimous? or was that someone else.
Then we find out that they are not unanimous and that some that were not have resigned.

Two down, 1 to go.

Tim said...

Honestly,

I could go thru the threads. It is not my intention to shame you, but you are a deacon, you should have your facts together better than I. If you want to help those of us that are searching for the truth then please tell us the things that you know and let us know when you are stating an opinion.

I am honestly not trying to be hostile toward you my brother. In all sincerity I am not. If you do not know the answer, however, plainly tell us that you do not know, not present your opinion as fact.

Who said...

The motion saying that there was nothing wrong with the pastor's credit cards was passed unanimously.

All "yeas" and zero "nays."

Then some anonymous guy going by "deaconsoldier" posts here that he didn't vote for it.

1) Who knows if he is really a deacon.
2) If he is, he lacked any courage of his conviction as he didn't voice his issues.
3) He has done a disservice to his Lord, his church, and his pastor since I watched the deacon leadership literally PLEAD with people to voice ANY concerns they had with the credit card issue.

So again, I maintain all the above information was accurate. Not misinformation.

Tim said...

Derrick,

So why did they continue to view the charges if they agreed that there was no problem.

Tim said...

mkw,

I have no idea what would be bothering you, surely you did not come to this forum with the idea that everyone would be in complete agreement with you on every thing.

Tim said...

David,

I am tired of Dr. Gaines refusing to handle these issues. Hate would be very incorrect.

Tim said...

David,

If you would prefer to go thru the blog, you will find plenty of scripture as well as studies of these based on many reliable Bible commentaries.

Tim said...

Phil413

I believe that there are no arguments to support that we do not have S.I.N. in the pulpit. I don't know if you read my post from earlier today or not, but instances of sin were asked for and they were given.

Truth Hunter,

I agree there is a time for reconcilliation, but there is a time when reconcilliation is past.

Who said...

TH,

***"A dinner club is vastly different than an elite country club. Surely you see that."

Actually it isn't. The membership was what is called a "social membership." Which pretty much works just as a dinner club. It was not a "golf membership."

I know the difference because, I've been a member there for years.

As to the business thing.... I do zero business with the church, and to my knowledge I do zero business with any deacon.

The insinuation that I have a financial motive for supporting the pastor is not a kind one, and I don't appreciate it.

Tim said...

David,

I stand before the Throne of God, here and now. This was brought to this point by none other than Dr. Gaines. It is not surprising that he and those that support him would want it to stop. Not because it is damaging the Bride of Christ (the church), but rather because it is damaging him, which is just another example of a self serving purpose.

Custos said...

Hi Pastor David,

I would offer up the following for your consideration regarding what constitutes a proper forum:

http://bellevuetruth.blogspot.com/
2006/09/answers-to-objections-to-
this-blog.html

(You'll need to delete the spaces between line breaks--sorry for the formatting.)

This may not satisfy you, but it does do a rather decent job IMHO of explaining one take on the appropriateness of this exercise.

Best,
Josh

Tim said...

custos,

There are some here that do not care to know the truth and neither do they care to present it. They desire for this blog to stop for reasons of their own, but it is far from reasons that are beneficial to Bellevue.

Who said...

Tim asked, "So why did they continue to view the charges if they agreed that there was no problem?"

So that when we were asked by someone (like you) if we saw all the charged, we could say, "Yes, we saw all the charges."

Tim said...

Derrick,

So you are saying that they voted unanimously that there were no problems.

and then reviewed the credit cards to verify that what they just voted unanimously was true was indeed so.

What kind of train wreck is this?

Tim said...

I know that I have spoke with other deacons and they have admitted that this is something that the deacon body of Bellevue has not had to go thru before, so it was new to them as how to go about doing it.

But really, the investigative order was completely botched on that one.

Who said...

Tim said: "They desire for this blog to stop for reasons of their own, but it is far from reasons that are beneficial to Bellevue."

In my opinion there are at least four good reasons why I think this blog should stop.

1) On balance it is damaging to the church and an hindrance rather than a help towards reconcilation.

2) It damages the cause of Christ. (My wife had this thrown at her just last week when she invited a lost person to come to church with us.)

3) It occupies the time of people like myself who have to come here and refute untruths that are stated.

4) It encourages many to fall into the sin of gossip and slander.

Custos said...

Pastor David,

I would also add that I think a reasonable take on the passage you believe we are violating (1 Corinth 6) is that 1 Corinthians 6 deals with issues of civil law not issues of accountability, oversight and de-facto, extra-legal sin against a brother. It seems hard to interpret this as a constraint on the exercise of Matthew 18 or a bulwark keeping knowledge of wrongdoing within the church and from the ears of the world.

This seems obvious given the actually wording of the scripture, the fact that the body hearing the situation is different, and the fact that the Lord had already covered altercations involving extra-legal sin between brothers.

Going further, if 1 Corinth 6 interprets Matthew 18, we have a problem because it also contradicts it since their contexts are necessarily the same.

Finally, the issue isn't that it's a sin to allow the world to know the failures of a church or to air our dirty laundry. No where is that stated or implied at all. The 1 Corinth 6 prohibition is on believers abdicating their God given responsibility to hold each other accountable and exercise the wisdom God has given them through Scripture and His Spirit. "Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren . . . Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another." The passage clearly condemns their abdication of responsibility, not the fact that the world found out what was going on.

How horrible if the church continually tried to cover its wrongs. We should be infinitely more zealous about uncovering our own sin and dealing with it, thus showing our continual struggles with sin to a world that struggles with the same; and simultaneously showing that we take living a holy life very seriously.

Best,
Josh

Who said...

Tim said: "So you are saying that they voted unanimously that there were no problems.

And then reviewed the credit cards to verify that what they just voted unanimously was true was indeed so.

What kind of train wreck is this?"

We started reviewing everything. Once we were well a long a deacon made a motion that said, basically we'd seen enough and were satisfied.

The motion was going to be effective a week or two in the future to allow any deacon who wanted to the opportunity to review the rest of the charges in the administrative offices.

It was approved unanimously.

After a while the pastor plead with us to revisit the issue and review the rest of the charges.

At his behest, we did.

Another motion was made once all charges were reviewed saying that we had seen the charges and were satisfied.

It was approved unanimously.

Who said...

You folks will have to excuse me.

Every Tuesday at 7:30 I meet with some folks to pray for our church, so I am off to do that.

I would encourage everyone reading this where ever you are to take a little time off and spend it in prayer as well.

MOM4 said...

Just getting back and noticed that "Truth Hunter" has been on safari. I am glad someone is hunting down the FACTS.
Thank you Truth Hunter, we look forward to learning the truth, preferably sooner than later.

MOM4 said...

Derrick,
Did you see the actual statements and invoices from all of the credit cards or just a spread sheet of the charges along with the receipts. This may have already been addressed and I missed it. If so, I apologize, but I would like to know for sure.

Tim said...

Derrick,

1) Without this blog their would have been no attempt to reconcile with anyone.

2) The cause of Christ will be damaged more by allowing sin in the pulpit than bringing it into the light. Unfortunately, since many issues were ignored it came to be on a blog and no longer can be ignored. The deacon loyalty pledge is nothing more than political posturing and does nothing to bring any of this to an end.

3) It occupies my time to, because there is a truth to be told. I will not leave Bellevue unless I am directed by God to do so, nor will I leave this blog until then.

4) It is ironic that this would cause many to fall into the sin of slander and gossip, but we are to believe that the things that have spoken from the pulpit would not?

You may disagree with this blog, then so be it, your arguments for it to end are not valid in my opinion.

Custos said...

Last post for a while (It appears I've gotten a tad caught up in this):

Regarding the distressingly common "this is hurting the church" argument:

Folks, "hurting" and "harming" are not the same things. We go to doctors and they hurt us when they give us shots and operate on us. But those hurts make us better. They prevent illness or remove threats to our bodies' integrity. These things save us and simultaneously hurt (often very badly).

Similarly, being critiqued by those we respect can often hurt us. But it also betters us, and it rarely harms us. I wouldn't for a moment trust someone who refused to undergo a peer review of his work every so often because it might be uncomfortable for him or his feelings might be hurt by the reviewers' comments.

The Father likewise will often hurt us, but He will never harm us. He broke Jacob's leg. He gave Paul a thorn in his flesh. Look at what He did to so many of the prophets (this not even considering their deaths). But these things He did to make them more like Him. To refine them.

The same thing applies here. We should not shirk from this pain. Yes, it hurts, but it will not kill us. And when it is finished we, and BBC, will be the stronger for it.

It is simply not acceptable for a believer to appeal to "hurt." We are not called to lives of ease. We are called to lives of grace, lives of mercy, and lives constantly being refined by God's blazing fire that vanquishes, often painfully, all the faults it touches.

Spiritual surgery is what BBC is undergoing right now, and it hurts like crazy. I weep with those of you who are weeping, but I also encourage you saying that on the other side of the fire, a much better future awaits our precious church. But in the meantime, don't run from the fire--it will hurt you but it will not harm you.

Finally, do not mistake "hurt" or "pain" for evil or derivatives thereof. They may not be.

westtnbarrister said...

Hi Pastor David,

I am late jumping into the fray today. This thread has grown quite lengthy and I have not yet read it all. So, pardon me if my points have been covered and my questions asked.

I understand your position about this blog. You aren't the first to make the point. I believe we could debate the proper interpretation of Matthew 18 and whether or not it was followed from now till the Second Coming and get no where.

Some believe this should have been kept in the church. Others respond that was tried and the effort to even speak was thwarted (and still is), so a couple of websites have served as Bellevue's proverbial Wittenburg Door. I fall into this latter camp.

It was not without circumspection that I began to post. My first post was a direct reaction to the responses I received to a letter I sent each deacon. In other words, I kept my questions in-house. My letter was met with such replies as "you should find a new church" and "remove me from your mailing list" and "no comment" and "you lack sufficient faith." Only a small handful bothered to respond, 11% in all. Of course, I also received thoughtful responses from concerned men. A considerable percentage agreed with my perspective, which was great, but I did not expect complete agreement. I expected civility and a modicum of respect for a fellow member of the body of Christ.

I am getting long winded here, so I will jump to my question. Will you explain the distinction between pastors, seminarians, and other ministers who blog and this blog?

I regularly read the blogs dealing with SBC issues. The discussions are just as heated, the accusations just as hard-hitting. They call names and take no prisoners. They are often vicious. The posters on those blogs are typically in the ministry in one form or another.

Do you repudiate those blogs and with the vehemence you repudiate this blog? Do you repudidate them at all?

Why is challenging a member of another congregation preferable to challenging someone in your own? We are, after all, one body.

Thank you for sharing your opinions and your service to our Lord.

Tim said...

David,

The savingbellevue.com web site is not this web site so where it has been publicized is of no consequence to me.

Indeed I have spoken with one deacon that is just anxious for his term to be over, so that he doesn't have to deal with this mess. I have spoken with another who became so dismayed with this mess that he has resigned his position and is searching for another church.

If I had done the things that have been done by our pastor, not only would I expect this to be done, I would expect that I full well deserved it. Yes, by all means start a web site, devote it to destorying my reputation and taking my job from me. The simple fact of the matter is there would be no support for it. Even those that should be my enemies within the world of business that I am, I have made my friends.

I do admit we are seeking to either remove the sin from the man in the pulpit or remove the man of sin from the pulpit.

Finally, I would like to dismiss the idea that we are not to air problems before the world. The scripture actually says we are not to bring matters of the chruch before wordly judges to decide, and indeed we are not bringing these decisions before the world to decide. The scripture does not say that the world should never know that there are problems within the church, otherwise we would not have half of the New Testament.

allofgrace said...

What he (WTB) said. I see it too...clean your own ranks up while you're at it. I've heard more venom spewed from the pulpits and the leaders of the convention than I've heard here...and it's ongoing.

Tim said...

jcsuitt,

You need to scroll up, indeed I have outlined what you have asked. And it is readily and easily backed up.

Tim said...

NBBCOF,

The thread has become rather lengthy again and I would imagine that some of our dial up readers would appreciate a new one.

Side note: Just from looking at the amount of attention that has been drawn to this issue does it not make sense that the "leaders" of our church would not reconsider and realize that this pledge thing is a bad idea. No...to stubborn...yeah, guess your right.

Custos said...

Hi David,

You coaxed me out for another posting.

You said: “Matthew 18 says to go TO the person. Or go TO the church. (the internet is not the church, unless you all have adopted a form of church that goes beyond Rick Warren!)”

I reply: Mark and others have gone to the person(s). Those same people are preventing this from coming before the church. That issue is treated in the link I sent you.

You said: “Aren't you disturbed when a deacon in your church says the unbelievers in your community are using this as a means to object to coming to church?”

I reply: Not really. They're refusing the gospel on grounds entirely other than what they see at BBC. Voltaire tried using the same argument about believers in general. But I tend to prefer the Lord's treatment of why people refuse the Gospel: Light has come into the world and men have rejected the light because they loved the darkness more (Jn 3). They refuse of themselves, not because of what believers are doing.

You said: “1 Cor. 5-6 should be read together. Both deal with the idea of the church being able on its own, without the world's judgment, to make decisions. First in the matter of morals, then in the matter of lawsuits. I believe the issue of morals would be in play if the pastor truly misused his credit card.”

I reply: I would add the caveat “submitting to” between ‘without” and “the” in your second sentence. Further, no one here is asking that the world decide anything about this. No one is asking the world to adjudicate. Most arguments, possibly all, claiming “it’s wrong of us to allow the world to see this” are non-sequitors at best and without biblical foundation at worst.

You said: “But may I ask: If the deacons reviewed the credit card, what's the problem? I submit to our deacons and chose this group because deacons are not known to be "yes-men." that is, true accountability comes when we don't have people who automatically agree.”

I reply: My problem is that Parker’s signoff on the inspection may not be what it was made to be by Harry Smith. If Smith didn’t do Parker’s (of all people’s) signoff justice, it calls into questions others. It is also rather clear that Chip Freeman’s position on those charges has reversed itself.

You said: “If all the deacons (over 200!!!) said there wasn't a problem, why not submit to their spiritual authoirty. Do you think the deacons are lying to you? I agree with the deacon who said that if one did not agree, he should have had the courage to say the convictions of his heart.”

I reply: I believe deacons are servants, not masters--and as such any de facto authroity seems dubious to me, but that's just MHO. I’m not sure that they’re lying, but I do know that many members of the deacon body have serious reservations about an incredible number of these issues. Past that, the credit issues are ancillary. The real issues are oversight and accountability to the congregation as Mark Sharpe and many others have contended all along.

You said: “I am concerned that there is actually a hostile atmostphere here. You don't want to reconcile with the pastor (or Tim doesn't) he wants him fired. I heard Dr. Rogers say: "What if your pastor cursed in front of a teenage girl? What if your pastor denied the Lord? you wouldn't have a pastor like that! But Peter did both those things." (A. rogers, LWF)”

I reply: Well, I can’t speak for Tim, but if you investigate what I’ve written thus far on the issues, I think it’s fairly clear that my concern is not at all over having a pastor fired! My concern is proper oversight and disclosure to the congregation. We need accountability.

As for the Dr Rogers quote, I for the most part refuse to quote him here. I will not pit Rogers against Rogers, especially when he can’t weigh in. I do suspect one thing regarding your quote from him: Dr Rogers was not endorsing the behaviors attributed to Peter.

Best,
Josh Manning

Tim said...

David,

This is not a case where the sin was committed three times before the cock crowed. This has been going on for almost a year and as time goes on the sin grows. There is no repentance, alas, there is no acknowledgement of wrong doing, which is incredible to me that a pastor would not quickly and completely recognize and repent of his sin, but that is what has happened.

Tim said...

I am not saying that he can no longer be used of the Lord. The Lord is able to use whoever he chooses.

Do you believe that the pastor in Colorado (Haggard) should confess, repent and restored as senior pastor of that church?

Tim said...

David,

So you subscripe to the idea that there are degrees of sin.

Tim said...

David,

Let me just cut to the chase here. I don't know that Haggard will ever be able to return to thie ministry. I seriously doubt that he will return in a position as he was and I find even more unlikely if he does that it will be in the same church.

Dr. Gaines can have a ministry, but he has disqualified him self from this ministry by refusing to humble himself and causing our church to have gone thru this mess. He had ample opportunity to publicly repent and turn and would probably been forgiven and restored. He choose not to do that and now I believe he has reached a point that has crossed the time he is able to do that a remain in this ministry.

It is time for him to find a new ministry and for us to find a new minister.

Anonymous said...

I Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

I Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

I Timothy 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

I Timothy 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

I Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

I Timothy 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

I Timothy 3:8 Likewise [must] the deacons [be] grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

I Timothy 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

I Timothy 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being [found] blameless.

I Timothy 3:11 Even so [must their] wives [be] grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

I Timothy 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

I Timothy 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Are we suppose to follow scriptures or not?

New BBC Open Forum said...

andrew,

Your last comment has been moved to the new thread.

NBBCOF

New BBC Open Forum said...

OKAY EVERYBODY! LET'S TIE A KNOT IN THIS ONE AND GO TO THE TOP OF THE NEXT "NEW DEACON LOYALTY PLEDGE THREAD" TO CONTINUE YOUR DISCUSSIONS.

Remember there are still other open threads for specific topics.

Thank you,

NBBCOF