Sunday, June 14, 2009


Update: Audio from the Wednesday night leadership meeting is now up!

This is a 90-minute audio-only file which begins with an introduction from Steve Gaines, followed by a mini concert by Ryan Wingo, and a 70-minute monologue by SG. The real "meat" begins at 19:10 if you want to FF past the pre-preview of the "less traditional, acoustic-led service with a praise band." I highly recommend you listen to at least the first few minutes and the last 70 minutes of this tape. It's tedious and painful in places, and you may have to listen to it in small segments and go back and listen to parts of it several times to get it all. (This is why I recommend downloading it. No doubt at several points you'll find yourself thinking, "Did he really say that?") There are a lot more changes in the works, and only by listening to the entire tape will you be fully informed (or at least as "fully informed" as the leadership will allow you to be at this time). This will also help dispel inaccurate rumors, several of which I've already heard.

Remember over a year ago we heard rumors of plans for such things as a coffee shop, an escalator replacing the big staircase in the west lobby, sofas filling the west lobby, and removal of the big crosses because some people found them "offensive"? The detractors came out of the woodwork and denied any of those things had ever been considered. After hearing nothing further until last night, I had decided those things had simply been pushed to the back burner, but because of the integrity of my sources I always believed there had been discussions of all these things. Granted, discussions don't always mean plans are in the works, but we now know that plans for at least two of those four things are moving forward. (You'll have to listen to the audio to learn which two!)

Go here to download and listen at your leisure (preferred). The file is almost 42MB and may take a few minutes to download.

Go here to listen if you can't download such a large file.

It was announced Sunday morning that beginning Sunday, September 13th, Bellevue is going to a new Sunday morning worship service format.

9:30 Announcement

11:00 Announcement

A "preview" is planned for both the 9:30 and 11:00 services next Sunday, June 21st. The new format will reportedly include a "traditional" service at 9:30 a.m. which will include the choir and orchestra. Whether "traditional" means traditional in the true sense of the word or if it just means the same "blended" service they already have is yet to be seen. I suspect the latter. It will be the same "blended" format currently in use.

The second service is moving to 11:11 a.m. and will feature a "less traditional, acoustic-led service with a praise band." The word "contemporary" was never uttered, nor was the name Ryan Wingo, but both were clear. Bye bye, Jamie Parker. Hello, Ryan Wingo! I've predicted for over a year that RW would eventually replace JP. It was never a question of if but when. RW doesn't seem to do "traditional," so I've no doubt this is being done primarily to accommodate him, a move which seems more than a bit disingenuous after all the times Steve Gaines has insisted that Bellevue will not have separate services based on style. How many times have we heard him strongly emphasize that Bellevue will have a "blended" service at 9:30 and 11:00 and that we will all worship together?

Here was the answer from the "Communications Committee" about the music:

Why did the music change?

For years, Dr. Adrian Rogers sought to have a blended style of worship. When Dr. Rogers retired in March 2005, Dr. Jim Whitmire led us to update our music while continuing to have a blended style of traditional and non-traditional songs. When Dr. Gaines came in September 2005, he encouraged this process to continue. Dr. Gaines has said he wants all of us to worship together and to not divide the congregation over music with separate traditional and non-traditional music services. The objective is to have a blend of approximately 50 percent hymns and 50 percent new songs in each service.

I can't help but wonder how this is going to work for people who attend Sunday School. If you go to an 8:00 class but want to attend a "less traditional, acoustic-led service with a praise band," you have nearly two hours to kill in between. If you attend a 9:30 class and want to attend the "traditional" service, I guess you're out of luck. If you attend an 11:00 class and want to attend the 11:11 service, again, you're out of luck. It seems with the declining attendance and shrinking budget receipts the most logical thing to do would be to go to one "blended" worship service at 9:30 and move all SS classes to 8:00 and 11:00 (or 8:00 OR 11:00). It would save on utilities and on a really good Sunday they might even come close to filling the auditorium. Have all Sunday School classes meet at 8:00, and Steve can keep his watch on and preach as long as he wants!

Germantown Baptist used this format for a while. The 9:30 traditional service would be packed while the 11:00 contemporary service would be sparsely attended. Eventually they eliminated the 11:00 service. It seems first-time visitors would come to the 11:00 service and be so turned off by the whole thing they would never return.

Other than to stroke Steve's new son-in-law, I can't possibly understand why they think this is going to be any more successful at BBC than it was at GBC. Will they be bringing in the funky lights, backdrops, and smoke machines to add ambience?

The idea for a contemporary service at 11:11 isn't original. Second Baptist in Houston, Texas has been doing the
same thing for some time. In searching for examples of other churches with 11:11 services, I came across thousands of hits for something called the "11:11 phenomenon." Here are but two:

The 11:11 Phenomenon

The Meaning of 11:11

I'd never heard of this, but apparently 11:11 has significant meanings in numerology. Whether the time 11:11 was chosen because it's easy to remember (easier than 11:00?), because it sounds cute, because Ed Young's megachurch does it, so SG will have time between services to change from a suit and tie to more casual attire, or for some other reason, considering the connotations which accompany "11:11," Bellevue might want to rethink this particular idea.

It wouldn't be the first time something appeared to be changed because of questionable associations. I'm sure anyone who's been inside Bellevue's auditorium or has seen TV or internet broadcasts of Bellevue's services has at one time or another noticed the large "JESUS" banner hung from the ceiling above the pulpit.

When that banner first went up (what year, anyone?) there was a large inverted triquetra symbol on the bottom of it.

Sometime in early 2006 the banner was removed, and the triquetra was replaced with a simple gold crown.

The question has always been why? Why go to the trouble of taking it down and having someone remove and replace the symbol and then rehang it? I'm willing to entertain the possibility there's an innocent explanation. Or perhaps the answer lies
here. It seems the triquetra, traditionally a symbol for the Trinity, is sometimes also associated with the occult, especially when inverted. A couple of years ago I talked with a lady whose adult child visited BBC after being away a while who said her child was shocked to see the inverted triquetra symbol on the banner. It was a short time later she noticed it was changed. So, did someone else notice it, too, and clue them in?

Trinity Baptist Church in Cordova has made liberal use of the triquetra (non-inverted) in their church. The church happens to be on Trinity Road, and the symbol appears on everything from their sign to their website to their publications to their choir bibs. Even their bimonthly newsletter is called The Triquetra. If one was offended by a single appearance of the triquetra on a banner at Bellevue, then one might be advised to wear a garlic necklace and carry a crucifix to enter Trinity!

Look, I am not offended by the triquetra or the use of 11:11. When I see the triquetra I understand it represents the Trinity -- although the inverted version doesn't make much sense. I think "11:11" is at worst a bit gimmicky, but to me it's not offensive. All I'm saying is if the triquetra was obliterated because of its inferred association with the occult, then by the same logic, shouldn't "11:11" be ditched because of its association with numerology? It would be a shame to print "11:11" on all those publications only to find out later that it has sinister connotations.


WishIhadknown said...

There is no doubt we are witnessing the establishment of a family dynasty at Bellevue. The Gaines family will control Bellevue into the forseeable future. After all you cannot touch "God's annointed." Of course in my opinion, they are more self annointed and certianly have no reservations about inflicting pain on members in order to have their way.

New BBC Open Forum said...

What I've always found interesting and reeking with an in-your-face agenda, is that when David Coombs was brought on board, ostensibly to replace Mark Dougharty, a new position was created, Administrative Pastor. When Mark Dougharty, whose title was Associate Pastor, left shortly thereafter, the Associate Pastor position was left open. That was over two years ago. Any guesses which current Ph.D. student will likely eventually fill the Associate Pastor job? (Hint: It's nobody at MABTS.)

sickofthelies said...

Looks like they are throwing stuff up on the wall and praying that something ( anything) sticks.

fogmachine said...

It saddens me to see Bellevue and other churches trying to create a circus type environment these days to entice people to come. I've seen churches use some crazy things to attract people from circus acts to preaching with beds or toilets on stage.

Instead of calling this service 11-11, they should be calling it 7-11 (for the convenience environment they want to establish) or perhaps 9-11 since this was the day Steve Gaines preached his first sermon and 9-11 could stand for "it's emergency time" to try anything.

For all practical purposes, it appears that Bellevue is desperate to try anything to stop the exodus.

My suggestion would be to get back to the basics of what church should be. The first thing I'd do is find a humble man who has been called into the ministry that loves the Word, studies the Word, preaches the Word, and lives the Word.

The Word of God changes people and builds the church, not some tricky marketing scheme in total casualness.

New BBC Open Forum said...

At least it's unlikely BBC will have satellite churches during the Gaines Family Dynasty.

32yrs@bbc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sickofthelies said...

Nass, you never cease to amaze me how you can find these articles way up there in Min E Soiiida.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Re my 7:21 p.m. comment. I may have spoken prematurely. Stay tuned.

Junkster said...

I agree (mostly) with Grant's article on multi-site churches. It is becoming a popular model for SBC mega churches, so will be interesting to see if BBC ever moves in that direction. If so, I wonder if Grant would change his view if he ever ends up on staff at BBC? Just a bunch of speculation, I know, but I'm curious as to what kind of man Grant is. Right doctrine is easier to come by than right character.

gopher said...

Now instead of Jamie Parker, Bellevue attendees will be
able to listen to
Ryan Wingo.


Mark Blair.
who is now vacationing in Florida

Richard said...

List of Christian Evangelist Scandals

Copied from Wikipedia.

This is a list of scandals related to American Christian evangelists. (Roman Catholic clergy and high-profile leaders from New Religious Movements are not within the scope of this list.)

1. Aimee Semple McPherson, 1920s–40s: Prior to recent events, the most famous evangelist scandal involved Canadian-born Aimee Semple McPherson in the 1920s, who allegedly had an extramarital relationship and faked her own death as a cover. She later claimed that she had been kidnapped, but a grand jury could neither prove that a kidnapping occurred, nor that she had faked it. Roberta Semple Salter, her daughter from her first marriage, became estranged from Semple McPherson and successfully sued her mother's attorney for slander during the 1930s. As a result of this she was cut out of her mother's will. Aimee Semple McPherson died in 1944 from an accidental overdose of barbiturates.

2. Lonnie Frisbee, 1970s–1980s: Lonnie Frisbee was an American closeted gay Pentecostal evangelist and self-described "seeing prophet" and mystic in the late 1960s and 1970s who despite his "hippie" appearance had notable success as a minister and evangelist. Frisbee was a key figure in the Jesus Movement and was involved in the rise of two worldwide denominations (Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard Movement). Both churches later disowned him because of his active homosexuality, removing him first from leadership positions, then ultimately firing him. He eventually died from AIDS in 1993.

3. Billy James Hargis, early 1970s: Hargis was a prolific author and radio evangelist. Hargis formed American Christian College in 1971 in order to teach fundamentalist Christian principles. However, a sex scandal erupted at the College, involving claims that Hargis had had sex with male and female students. Hargis was forced out of American Christian College's presidency as a result. Further scandals erupted when members of Hargis' youth choir, the "All American Kids", accused Hargis of sexual misconduct as well. The college eventually closed down in the mid-1970s. Hargis denied the allegations publicly.

4. Jim & Tammy Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, 1986 and 1991: In 1986, evangelist Jimmy Swaggart began on-screen attacks against fellow televangelists Marvin Gorman and Jim Bakker. He uncovered Gorman's affair with a member of Gorman's congregation, and also helped expose Bakker's infidelity (which was arranged by a colleague while on an out-of-state trip). These exposures received widespread media coverage. Gorman retaliated in kind by hiring a private investigator to uncover Swaggart's own adulterous indiscretions with a prostitute. Swaggart was subsequently forced to step down from his pulpit for a year and made a tearful televised apology in February 1988 to his congregation, saying "I have sinned against you, my Lord, and I would ask that your precious blood would wash and cleanse every stain until it is in the seas of God's forgiveness."

Swaggart was caught again by California police five years later in 1991 with another prostitute, Rosemary Garcia, who was riding with him in his car when he was stopped for driving on the wrong side of the road. When asked why she was with Swaggart, she replied, "He asked me for sex. I mean, that's why he stopped me. That's what I do. I'm a prostitute." Rather than confessing to his congregation, Swaggart told those at Family Worship Center that "The Lord told me it's flat none of your business.

5. Peter Popoff, 1987: A self-proclaimed prophet and faith healer in the 1980s, Popoff's ministry went bankrupt in 1987 after James Randi and Steve Shaw debunked his methods by showing that instead of receiving information about audience members from supernatural sources, he received it through an in-ear receiver.

Richard said...

List of Christian Evangelist Scandals (cont’d)

6. Mike Warnke, 1991: Warnke was a popular Christian evangelist and comedian during the 1970s and 1980s. He claimed in his autobiography, The Satan Seller (1973), that he had once been deeply involved in a Satanic cult and was a Satanic priest before converting to Christ. In 1991, Cornerstone magazine launched an investigation into Warnke's life and testimony. They investigated Warnke's life, from interviews with over 100 personal friends and acquaintances, to his ministry's tax receipts. Their investigation turned up damaging evidence of fraud and deceit. The investigation also revealed the unflattering circumstances surrounding Warnke's multiple marriages, affairs, and divorces. Most critically, however, the investigation showed how Warnke could not possibly have done the many things he claimed to have done throughout his nine-month tenure as a Satanist, much less become a drug-addicted dealer or become a Satanic high priest.

7. Robert Tilton, 1991: Tilton is an American televangelist who achieved notoriety in the 1980s and early 1990s through his paid television program Success-N-Life. At its peak it aired in all 235 American TV markets. In 1991, Diane Sawyer and ABC News conducted an investigation of Tilton. The investigation, broadcast on ABC's Primetime Live on November 21, 1991, found that Tilton's ministry threw away prayer requests without reading them, keeping only the money or valuables sent to them by viewers, garnering his ministry an estimated $80 million USD a year. In the original investigation, one of Tilton's former prayer hotline operators claimed that the ministry cared little for desperate followers who called for prayer, saying that Tilton had a computer installed in July 1989 to make sure that the phone operators were off the line in seven minutes. Tilton sued ABC for libel in 1992, but the case was dismissed in 1993, and Tilton's show was off the air by October 30, 1993.

8. Frank Houston, 2000: Frank Houston was a Pentecostal Christian pastor in the Assemblies of God in New Zealand and Australia. In 2000 he was advised to resign his ministerial credentials by his own son, Brian Houston, the National President of the Assemblies of God in Australia (and pastor of Hillsong Church), after Houston Sr. confessed that he had engaged in pedophile sexual activities with a teenage boy while ministering in New Zealand some thirty years earlier.

9. John Paulk, 2000: John Paulk is a former leader of Focus on the Family's Love Won Out conference and former chairman of the board for Exodus International North America. His claimed shedding of homosexuality is also the subject of his autobiography Not Afraid to Change. In September 2000, Paulk was found and photographed in a Washington, D.C. gay bar, and accused by opponents of flirting with male patrons at the bar. Later questioned by Wayne Besen, Paulk denied being in the bar despite photographic proof to the contrary. Initially, FoF’s Dr. James Dobson sided with Paulk and supported his claims. Subsequently, Paulk, who himself had written about his habit of lying while he openly lived as a homosexual, confessed to being in the bar, but claimed he entered the establishment for reasons other than sexual pursuits. Paulk retained his Board seat for Exodus, however he did so while on probation. Paulk did not run again for chairman of the board of Exodus when his term expired.

Richard said...

List of Christian Evangelist Scandals (cont’d)

10. Paul Crouch, 2004: Paul Crouch is the founder and president of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, or TBN, the world's largest evangelical Christian television network, as well as the former host of TBN's flagship variety show, Praise the Lord. In September 2004, the Los Angeles Times published a series of articles raising questions about the fundraising practices and financial transparency of TBN, as well as the allegations of a former ministry employee, Enoch Lonnie Ford, that he had a homosexual affair with Crouch during the 1990s. The Times spoke with several sources that claimed that other evangelists such as Benny Hinn, Jack Hayford, and Paul's son Matthew were aware that an affair had taken place. TBN denied the allegations, claiming that Ford's claims were part of an extortion scheme and that the Times was a "left-wing and anti-Christian newspaper" for publishing the articles. In 2005, Ford submitted to and passed a lie detector test on the ION Television program Lie Detector (TV series).

Richard said...

11. Douglas Goodman, 2004: Douglas Goodman, an evangelical preacher, and his wife Erica were Pastors of Victory Christian Centre in London. He came into notoriety when he was jailed for three and a half years for the sexual assault of 4 members of his congregation in 2004. VCC was closed by the Charity Commission but his wife Erica started a new church Victory to Victory in Wembley. The church was one of the largest in the United Kingdom.

12. Kent Hovind, 2006: Kent Hovind is an American Young Earth creationist. He is most famous for creation science seminars, in which he argues for Young Earth creationism, using his self-formulated "Hovind Theory". He has been criticized by both the mainstream scientific community and other creationists. In 2006, Hovind had been charged with falsely declaring bankruptcy, making threats against federal officials, filing false complaints, failing to get necessary building permits, and various tax-related charges. He was convicted of 58 federal tax offenses and related charges, for which he is currently serving a 10-year sentence.

13. Ted Haggard, 2006: Ted Haggard was the Pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado and was the president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) from 2003 until November 2006. Haggard's position allowed him occasional access to George W. Bush. In 2006 it was alleged that Haggard had been regularly visiting a male prostitute who also provided him with methamphetamine. Haggard admitted his wrongdoing and resigned as pastor of New Life church and as president of the NAE. The high-profile case was significant also because it immediately preceded the 2006 mid-term elections and may have even affected national voting patterns. In January 2009, Haggard admitted to a second homosexual relationship with a male church member, Brant Hass, on CNN-TV and other national media, and when asked, would not directly answer a question about his other possible homosexual relationships.

Richard said...

List of Christian Evangelist Scandals (cont’d)

14. Paul Barnes, 2006: Paul Barnes is the founder and former senior minister of the evangelical church Grace Chapel in Douglas County, Colorado. He confessed his homosexual activity to the church board, and his resignation was accepted on 7 December 2006. He started the church in his basement and watched it reach a membership of 2,100 in his 28 years of leadership. This scandal was notable because it was similar to Ted Haggard's (above), it occurred in the same state (Colorado) and around the same time (late 2005).

15. Lonnie Latham, 2006: In 2006, Latham, the senior pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church and a member of the powerful Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, was arrested for “offering to engage in an act of lewdness” with a male undercover police officer.

16. Richard Roberts, 2007: In October 2007, televangelist Richard Roberts (son of Oral Roberts), was president of Oral Roberts University until his forced resignation on November 23, 2007. Roberts was named as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging improper use of university funds for political and personal purposes and improper use of university resources.

17. Bishop Earl Paulk, 2007: Earl Paulk (no relation to John Paulk) was the founder and head Pastor of Chapel Hill Harvester Church in Decatur, Georgia from 1960 until the 1990s. A number of women from the congregation came forward during the 1990s claiming that Paulk had sexual relations with them. Some of these claims have subsequently been proven correct. Moreover, Donnie Earl Paulk, the current senior pastor of the church and nephew of Earl Paulk, had a court-ordered DNA test in 2007 which showed that he was Earl's son, not his nephew, which means that Earl and his sister-in-law had had a sexual relationship which led to Donnie's birth.

18. Coy Privette, 2007: Privette is a Baptist pastor, conservative activist, and politician in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Privette was president of the Christian Action League and a prominent figure in North Carolina moral battles. In 2007, Privette resigned as president of North Carolina's Christian Action League and from the Board of Directors of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, following revelations on July 19 that he had been charged with six counts of aiding and abetting prostitution.

Richard said...

List of Christian Evangelist Scandals (cont’d)

19. Joe Barron, 2008: Joe Barron, one of the 40 ministers at Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in the United States with 26,000 members, was arrested on May 15, 2008 for solicitation of a minor after driving from the Dallas area to Bryan, Texas, in order to allegedly engage in sexual relations with what he thought to be a 13 year-old girl he had met online. The "girl" turned out to be an undercover law enforcement official.

20. Todd Bentley, 2008: In August 2008, Todd Bentley, best known as the controversial key figure of the Lakeland revival in Florida "has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors" of Fresh Fire Ministries, "and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life." This was after the ministry revealed he had an "unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff". The announcement came one week after Bentley's ministry announced he and his wife were separating.

21. Tony Alamo, 2008: On September 20, 2008, FBI agents raided Tony Alamo Christian Ministries headquarters as part of a child pornography investigation. This investigation involved allegations of physical abuse, sexual abuse and allegations of polygamy and underage marriage. According to Terry Purvis, mayor of Fouke, Arkansas, his office has received complaints from former ministry members about allegations of child abuse, sexual abuse and polygamy since the ministry established itself in the area, and in turn, Purvis turned over information about the allegations to the FBI. Investigators at the scene plan to conduct a search of ministry headquarters and the home of Alamo and interview children present on the compound.

22. In 2007, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) opened a probe into the finances of six televangelists who preach a "prosperity gospel". The probe investigates reports of lavish lifestyles by televangelists including: fleets of Rolls Royces, huge palatial mansions, private jets and other excesses. These luxuries are purportedly paid for by television viewers who donate due to the ministry's requests for tithes. The six under investigation are Kenneth Copeland and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas; Creflo Dollar and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries of College Park, Ga; Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas; Eddie L. Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga; Joyce Meyer and David Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Mo; Randy White and Paula White of the multiracial Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries of Tampa.

ezekiel said...

Amos 8:11 comes to mind along with all the references to it.

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord God, when I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but [a famine] for hearing the words of the Lord.

1Sa 3:1 NOW THE boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; there was no frequent or widely spread vision.

1Sa 28:6 When Saul inquired of the Lord, He refused to answer him, either by dreams or by Urim [a symbol worn by the priest when seeking the will of God for Israel] or by the prophets. [Prov. 1:24-30.]

1Sa 28:15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disturbed me to bring me up? Saul answered, I am bitterly distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams. Therefore I have called you, that you may make known to me what I should do.

Psa 74:9 We do not see our symbols; there is no longer any prophet, neither does any among us know for how long.

Isa 5:6 And I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned or cultivated, but there shall come up briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

Isa 30:20 And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide Himself any more, but your eyes will constantly behold your Teacher.
Isa 30:21 And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.

Eze 7:26 Calamity shall come upon calamity and rumor shall be upon rumor, and they shall seek a vision of the prophet; and the law and instruction shall cease from the [distracted] priest and counsel from the [dismayed] elders. [Ps. 74:9; Lam. 2:9.]

Mic 3:5 Thus says the Lord: Concerning the false prophets who make My people err, when they have anything good to bite with their teeth they cry, Peace; and whoever gives them nothing to chew, against him they declare a sanctified war.
Mic 3:6 Therefore it shall be night to you, so that you shall have no vision; yes, it shall be dark to you without divination. And the sun shall go down over the false prophets, and the day shall be black over them.

Mat 9:36 When He saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them, because they were bewildered (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless), like sheep without a shepherd. [Zech. 10:2.]

New BBC Open Forum said...

The audio from last night's leadership meeting is now up. See the front page for details.

New BBC Open Forum said...

At 36:50 you'll hear the names of the "2010 Committee" members (aka, according to SG, the "Bellevue Bluebloods"). Yes, he really called them that -- the "Bellevue bluebloods."

Sherrie Angel
Jeff Arnold
Wes Bowen
Eric Brand
("his mom") Pat Brand
Stephanie Bryson
Ginger Calcote (All that water Derrick carried for SG paid off!)
Al Childress
Mike Cornelius
Eric Fuhrman
Donna Gaines
Mike Golding
David Hamilton
Keny Hatley
Steven Holley
Bryan Miller
David Perdue
Bill Powell
Joe Rowell
Harry Smith
Vernon Stafford
Chuck Taylor
Steve Tucker
Ruth Ann Vander Steeg

Steve Gaines ("me and some of the staff guys")
David Coombs
Mark Blair
Mark Gates
Steve Marcum
Phil Newberry
Sara Jerkins (I'm sure Ms. Jerkins will be pleased to know she's considered "one of the staff guys.")
Webb Williams

(Hope I caught all those names and spelled them correctly.)

Lydia said...

From Grant's article:

"Some might object that all the members of a particular church in the New Testament would not have been able to fit together in the same place due to space limitations, but this is an argument from silence that it is contrary to the explicit scriptural examples given above. The text says that whole churches met together in one place, whether in a house or not.[10] Besides, this objection contradicts the plain evidence of the text, at least for the church in Jerusalem, which we know numbered in the thousands and still managed to meet together:

-"And all those who had believed were together" (Acts 2:44).
-"And they were all with one accord in Solomon's portico" (Acts 5:12).
-"Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number…the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples" (ESV, Acts 6:1-2)"

My response:

My mega church used this same argument for years about the size of a mega church.

And now they are building satelite campi all over the place.

Using Pentecost is a horrible example because Jews from all over the place were in Jerusalem for another Jewish festival called Feast of Weeks (Pentecost or Shavuot which was held 50 days after Passover)

(Lev 23:15-21; Num 28:26; Deut 16:9-12; 34:22).

that is WHY Pentecost was on that day. They went BACK to their homes after that. (They would literally come to Jerusalem and camp around the city during Jewish feasts for weeks at a time.)

So that means that MANY would see the working of the Holy Spirit and take the news back home.

Does he really think they could continue meeting indefinitely at
Solomons Portico? That would negate all the persecution talked about in the book of Hebrews, etc.

He is using a fact of Pentecost to make an assumption about
something else. The two are not related. We also
know this because of archeology.

Archelogists found home churches in several different homes in the same city YET the scriptures talk about the 'church' at Corinth or the church at Ephesus.

Archeologists found that one of the largest home churches fit about 70 people and that home had been remodeled to accomodate so many. The average home church in the NT had about 30-40 people. they considered themselves part of the 'church' in their city even though there were other home churches.

A friend of mine, a bible translator, pointed out to me a while back that one of the biggest failings of bible scholars is that they tend to ignore not only archeology but also lexicography if it does not match their presuppositions.

Our seminaries have become centers of indoctrination instead of institutions of higher learning.

Lydia said...

"Now instead of Jamie Parker, Bellevue attendees will be
able to listen to
Ryan Wingo."

Oh dear.

This is Gaines' son in law? This is what they are replacing Jaime with?

It is good to be king.

New BBC Open Forum said...

To anyone who thinks all these "new" ideas are a desperate effort to save a declining church, don't kid yourself. Steve Gaines has said ministers are "employed by God" for two tasks: uprooting and planting. "That's the ministry, and if you're going to be employed by God to be his messengers, then there are going to be times when you pluck up, break down, destroy, overthrow, before you can build and before you can plant." That was 10 years ago. In spite of his assurances to the search committee to the contrary, he had an agenda before he came here. Remember he said he was going to tell the pastor search committee, "I'm gonna tell them everything I don't like about their church, and I'm gonna tick 'em off so bad... heh heh... that they won't want me."

Is it a coincidence that September 13th is the closest Sunday to his 4th anniversary at BBC? Does anyone really believe there hasn't been a master plan to "pluck, break down, destroy, and overthrow" all along???

Of course Dr. Rogers made changes, but he didn't destroy the legacies of Dr. Lee and Dr. Pollard in the process!

New BBC Open Forum said...


You got it. Scary, huh?

MOM4 said...

"For years, Dr. Adrian Rogers sought to have a blended style of worship"


Lydia said...

One other thing about Grant Gaines' article on the 9 Marks site that confuses me. 9 Marks is a ministry of Mark Dever. He is a Calvinist. Much of their writing is slanted toward predestination and Calvinistic bent.

Gaines, SR is quite outspoken against Calvinism and has even given some sermons in SBC entity venues that really needle the Calvinist. (One of them was picked apart on the Founders blog)

Grant is going to SBTS, a big Calvinist stronghold. Does anyone know if Grant disagrees with his dad on Calvinism. or even predestination? SBTS was a strange choice for him considering the loyalty Patterson has shown to Gaines SR.

Would this be an important consideration before he comes on staff at BBC? Especially since A Rogers called it the doctrine of demons.

New BBC Open Forum said...

If Bellevue Lo♥es Memphis so much, why is the first satellite (he did say "satellites," as in "more than one") going to be in Arlington? Could it be because that's where many of the bigger "giving units" live?

gopher said...

What a Flip Flop from this

Don't you move one square inch.

Apparently all of Memphis has been witnessed to, so Bellevue will be moving on to Arlington. (Bellevue East move #2)

A Double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

Richard said...

"If Bellevue Lo♥es Memphis so much, why is the first satellite (he did say "satellites," as in "more than one") going to be in Arlington? Could it be because that's where many of the bigger "giving units" live?"

Perhaps Memphi$ doesn’t lo♥e Bellvue anymore. Used to, but no longer. Now it’s time for the banners to read “Bellevue Lo♥e$ Arlington.”

Giving units. Sounds like robots.

Junkster said...

Hi, Lydia,
Your point about multiple house churches in an area being collectively called "the church" in Scripture is why I said I "mostly" agreed with Grant's article. I agreed with his assessment that the multi-site church under the auspices of a centralized governance is an unbiblical form of connectionalism that is contrary to local church autonomy. (Autonomy in the sense of not being governerned by a hierarchical structure, not in the radical sense touted by current SBC leadership as an excuse for not holding predatory pastors accountable.) But, like you, I feel Grant went beyond Scripture in arguing for a "local church only" (Landmarkist) concept of the church.

I have also been curious as to whether Grant holds to a more Calvinistic view than his father. If so, that, together with their different views on satellite churches, could make for some interesting family conversations.

Lydia said...

"I agreed with his assessment that the multi-site church under the auspices of a centralized governance is an unbiblical form of connectionalism that is contrary to local church autonomy."

I agree with that, too. The continual planting of churches brings spiritual growth as those more mature in the faith go out and plant and start churches and as more grow in spiritual maturity the process continues. No centralized government. Because Jesus Christ is the 'authority' of the Body and the Holy Spirit directs worship if all are true believers.

We do not do this. It pretty much stopped dead by the 3rd century when Constantine institutionalized the church. And it limits spiritual growth because we are not involved in participating in the Body.

We do not do 'church' anything like the NT believers did. And it is to our detriment in spiritual growth and one reason we feast on milk all our lives. We want someone to feed us and if they are a wolf, hirling or false teacher, we are in big trouble.

New BBC Open Forum said...

“Six Flags Over Jesus”: Megachurches and Theologies of Consumption

New BBC Open Forum said...

King of the Hill > Church Hopping

Richard said...


Poor Hank Hill ... You already know he wont stay at the new mega church because it's all electric. There is not a propane tank on the campus!

I wonder if there is a shuttle bus in the plans to transport the sheep from Memphis to Arlington as they do in Hank's new mega church? Kinda like forced bussing to meet racial quotas established in the 1960s schools.

sickofthelies said...

re: Satellite in Arlington

Could it be that "they" ( the Bellevue Blue Bloods) are thinking that perhaps those who are disgruntled with current leadership at the church in Cordova would find a church in Arlington with a different pastor more palatable?

New BBC Open Forum said...

It's not a church plant. It's a satellite. SG will still be the pastor. Excuse me, the senior pastor. They'll just pipe his messages in live from the "main campus."

New BBC Open Forum said...

If you look at what other megas are doing, that's what SG is copying. Second Baptist, Houston, has Jane's Grill (but apparently not Eddie Struble).

Willow Creek has the Harvest Food Court and Dr. B's Cafe.

The "11:11" thing came straight from Second Baptist. (Steve described it as "trendy.") I saw another mega where the Sunday evening service begins at 6:08. I'm sure there's some gimmick that goes along with that, too.

Just look at some of the megachurch websites, and it isn't difficult to predict future changes coming at BBC.

Did anyone notice there's going to be a bistro, too? What would be on the menu at Steve's Bistro?

And did he say "water aerobics for seniors." Does BBC have a pool? Outdoor baptistries are all the rage now. (I'm surprised they haven't already thought of baptizing people in the big lake out front.) Oooh, I'm getting a mental image. Picture it -- an outdoor baptistry/pool that can be used for water aerobics during the week!

The sky's the limit!

Ramesh said...

My understanding of how/why these satellites are established is this ...

They do demographics studies and follow the money. Yes I am being cynical. For this was done at Fbc Jax. You can listen to Smyrl's presentation on this issue, where he showed all the demographic studies of the unchurched.

From my reading this is purely a business play for money. Is it to save souls? I do not know. Let God be the judge of it.

All the below links are from FBC Jax Watchdog blog:

Brunson and Smyrl Reveal "Satellite" Strategy.

Satellite Brand Extension: "God's Will" or "The Long Bomb"?.

The "Remaking" of the FBC Jax "Brand"....

Satellites and "Life Links" - It IS All About Mac After All.

gopher said...

Here's some features of the
"Mega Church" game

# Pastor a simulated church and create your own Christian empire

# Build a church from the ground up

# Hire and fire staff

# Deal with idiots, naive volunteers, and denominational egos

# Attract fickle unchurched people with Bingo, revival meetings or fasting--it is all up to you!

# Select a pre-loaded community

Steve must be saying "but it worked in the game"

gopher said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
"And did he say "water aerobics for seniors." Does BBC have a pool?"

Currently the pool is at

Bellevue Woods. ,

for "resident" seniors

New BBC Open Forum said...

"They do demographics studies and follow the money. Yes I am being cynical."

Cynical? Seems to me you're just stating the obvious. Bellevue Need$ Money.

fogmachine said...

Bellevue will continue to fail as long as they continue to follow a man who leads them down the wrong road.

I listened to the intro/sales pitch to the Sunday School teachers and could not believe my ears when he mentioned the Bellevue Blue Bloods (a list of about 15-20 people). He actually elevated these people above the rest of the church which goes against what Paul warned the church in Corinth. Bellevue has been guilty of elevating certain men in the church for a long time even though these men often contradict what the Bible says.

He actually said these people are the deep thinkers of the church. I guess the other 99.5% of the church don't think or can't think for themselves.

These people are constantly thinking of worldy schemes to make the church appealing to the world instead of following the Word. As been the case since Steve Gaines came here, the end justifies the means.

Read 1 Corinthians and see what Paul says about elevating men inside the church over others. It's an abomination what Steve Gaines is doing. What he doesn't realize is these "Blue Bloods" were the same men and women who called him to Bellevue and follow him instead of the Scripture.

Bellevue will continue to decline as they choose to follow man instead of God.

What a shame.

gmommy said...

So how did Steve manage to calm down everything about JP??? Was an official announcement made to the church and not just the choir?? Is Jamie being paid to leave quietly? Where is he going?? It sure didn't take long for JP's leaving to stop being the topic. Jamie sent out a thank you and then silence.
Maybe some of the good ol boys could advise the politicians..they know the game better than they do!!

fogmachine said...


Now you know why Steve didn't need Jamie around any longer. Blair - Part 1 and Wingo - Part 2. Steve said it at the teachers/leader meeting the other night. Steve mentioned Mark Blair would have been there but he was down on the beach eating seafood or something to that affect and then Ryan Wingo would be leading the Contemporary service.

When word leaked in May of Jamie being asked to leave, folks came out of the woodwork supporting Jamie.

That's when Steve addressed the choir and told them "it's all a big misunderstanding." Oh Really!

Why not just say, I don't have room for Jamie any longer and tell the truth?

Does anyone remember what Steve Gaines said about his relationship with Jamie Parker when he brought Jamie up from Gardendale? I can't remember the exact words, but it had something to do with a covenant between them. I wonder what happened to that?

gopher said...

Apparently with Mark Blair being a member of the Long Range Planning Committee, Jamie Parker never had a chance.

So along with Mark Blair, the following Staff have Job security, due to the fact they are on this committee also????

Mark Gates
Steve Marcum
Phil Newberry
Sara Jerkins
Webb Williams

New BBC Open Forum said...

fogmachine & gopher,

The fact that Jamie was on the way out was evident to me a long time ago. Steve's Wednesday night address to the choir was damage control. It wasn't convincing, but that's all it was.

David Coombs sent this letter to the staff the following day to try to do what Steve couldn't.

May 7, 2009

Last night Pastor said Jamie Parker addressed the choir on changes in leadership in the music ministry at Bellevue. The Pastor stated that this discussion had been an ongoing one with Jamie, Mark Blair, and other leadership over the last several months. He explained that Mark Blair did not assume the same position that Jon Tyner had when he was here, but that Mark came as a co-minister of music and that through the months they determined that this was not the best solution. He said that Mark will be the leader in the Music Department.

The Pastor made it clear that Jamie has not been fired or relieved of responsibilities at Bellevue but has been encouraged to seek God for direction in his ministry and where that might be. And, if that is away from Bellevue at another church or venue, then this is the best time of the year with the school year almost finished and the summer months to seek out those other opportunities and make those changes as God leads. Jamie will continue to be on our staff while he seeks God's direction for his ministry.

The Pastor expressed his love and appreciation for Jamie and said that he and Jamie have a close relationship and that his love and appreciation for Jamie and his skills have not changed. The Pastor explained that the Bellevue Music program is very complex and that Mark Blair possesses the skills to address and carry forward the vast program at Bellevue. The Pastor explained that he, being the leader has to separate himself from his emotions to make the decision that he feels is best for the church.

The Pastor encouraged and asked the choir to support this change and to be positive about the Music Ministry at Bellevue and their participation and involvement in the ministry. The Pastor also expressed his continual love, support, encouragement, and prayers for Jamie in whatever the Lord has for his ministry.

David Coombs

I agree it would have been a lot better to just tell the truth -- that "Pastor" wants Mark Blair to take over and do the real work and that he's creating this 11:11 thing to showcase his son-in-law, thus leaving no room for Jamie, but explaining away a "covenant" you made with someone that you've now broken for no better reason than that can't be easy.

Jamie is the same person Steve brought to Gardendale and then insisted be allowed to come to BBC with him. Jamie was told he'd always have a place wherever Steve was. Yet Steve had to know that Jamie, while a very talented singer, does not possess the versatility, skills, or drive necessary to oversee a music program the size of Bellevue's. That's not being critical of Jamie but rather stating what is reality. Why would Steve uproot him from Gardendale and bring him back here and promise him lifetime security only to toss him to the curb less than four years later? Does the man possess a shred of integrity or compassion?

32yrs@bbc said...

Question: If the budget is so tight that employees have been laid-off, how then does the church
afford the major expenses of all the proposed renovations plus a satellite church?

New BBC Open Forum said...

Answer: One word -- PRIORITIES.

Junkster said...

If reaching the "unchurched" is a primary goal of satellite congregations, and if Bellevue loves Memphis, wouldn't the place to start a new campus be in the inner city?

Richard said...

”If reaching the "unchurched" is a primary goal of satellite congregations, and if Bellevue loves Memphis, wouldn't the place to start a new campus be in the inner city?”

Socioeconomics. When Gaines gets up in the pulpit and spews his propaganda, you have to read between the lines, so to speak. [On an earlier subject, you were looking for a caption for a rather unflattering shot of Gaines. I couldn’t think of anything appropriate for a caption, but he sure reminded me of Fidel Castro for some reason.] When he snarls “Bellevue ♥s Memphis, what he really means is that Bellevue loves the socioeconomic class who can be considered a “giving unit.” I would betcha he could care less about the “unchurched” in the inner city as that socioeconomic class generally cannot be converted into a “giving unit.” Most live day to day and can barely scrape up enough to feed themselves and their families.

I would be safe to assume these facts: (1) there are just as many, if not more, of the “unchurched” in Memphis’ inner city as there is in Arlington and (2) If you are going to build a campus of any kind, property in the inner city is a whole lot less expensive nowadays than property in Arlington. Logic dictates … never mind, logic and Gaines are not necessarily synonymous.

Just like here in Jacksonville where Mac Brunson has hijacked a 100+ year old institution and decimated it, Steve Gaines is doing the same to Bellevue. My prediction is that in the not-so-distant future it will become Bellevue Baptist Church of Arlington and Memphis will be nothing more than a fleeting memory. The empty shell of BBC Memphis will become a monument to Steve Gaines. The empty shell of what was once FBC Jax will be Brunson’s monument.

I have what might be a stupid question – could enough of you former members get together and put together the resources to open a mission church in Arlington as a preemptive strike? Wouldn’t that be a kick in the private parts? Competition – it’s the American way.

gopher said...

Junkster said...

"If reaching the "unchurched" is a primary goal of satellite congregations, and if Bellevue loves Memphis, wouldn't the place to start a new campus be in the inner city?"

Bellevue has spent (or borrowed) over $1 million for 2 campuses Impact and Bella Vista , so the city is covered and time to move on.

That "Bellevue Love Memphis" was only a smokescreen for the real move the Blue Bloods had in store for Belleuve.

Steve mentioned "Bellevue East" as a precedent for a satellite campus (for this new move), which was the name given for the start up of the current campus on Appling.

"Bellevue Downtown" was later abandoned and is now gone.

So much for a satellite campus not "depleting" the resources of the current location.

Oh by the way Bob Sorrell is back at Bellevue. What is he there for? Assist the leadership in this new bold move, like at Germantown Baptist??

sickofthelies said...

After reading the letter from David Combs regarding Jamie Parker..if anyone bought the song and dance and thinks that Jamie was not fired, then they are just plain ol' stupid. Any moron could see right thru that.

Yet, I can see them now, grinning like idiots, believing that hogwash that was told to them, becuase even Steve Gaines doesn't think that they are capable of thinking for themselves.

Maybe they aren't.

32yrs@bbc said...

"The Pastor explained that he, being the leader has to separate himself from his emotions to make the decision that he feels is best for the church."

I believe this is what is called
"spin" in political circles.

And, what about the covenant relationship between the pastor and Jamie?
COVENANT: a binding and
solemn agreement made by two or more individuals to do or keep from doing a specific thing.

Richard said...

”When longtime dictator Omar Bongo (of Gabon) died last week, he left behind at least 66 bank accounts. The first family owned 45 homes in France, including at least 14 in Paris and 11 on the French Riviera. And they boasted of 19 or more luxury cars, including a Bugatti sports model that cost the Republic of Gabon $1.5 million.

But most of the country Bongo governed for 41 years is still covered in jungle. A third of its people live in poverty so dire that some dig through the trash dump to feed their children.

The contrast makes it all the more striking that hundreds of thousands of those people lined the streets of the capital this week to bid goodbye to the 73-year-old ruler who bled their country dry. Women wept and waved signs that said, "Merci Papa" — thank you, father. Businesses put up billboards with messages of loss, such as: "Gabon weeps."
On a continent that has seen more than its share of presidents-turned-dictators, Gabon is perhaps one of the best examples of what analysts call "the chief complex." So long was Bongo in power that his countrymen came to view him as a hereditary chief, a man whose authority is unquestioned.”

Does anyone other than me see any parallels here?

Complete article:

BkWormGirl said...

Nass said, "Does the man possess a shred of integrity or compassion?"

In a word... NO

BkWormGirl said...

Gopher said "Oh by the way Bob Sorrell is back at Bellevue. What is he there for? Assist the leadership in this new bold move, like at Germantown Baptist??"

He never left BBC - the entire time he was collecting a HEFTY sum of money from GBC he was still a member of BBC. I believe he was sent by SG to GBC to sabotage GBC - and he was successful. The members of GBC are just now figuring out all the junk he pulled, and it is not pretty. Make no mistake about it, BS and SG have always been in cahoots!

Ramesh said...

It appears SG has attempted to learn from The Prince, by Niccolò Machiavelli. But it appears he only learnt the bad stuff and not how to be a good prince. Of course, all the while ignoring The Bible.

gmommy said...

I am in total agreement with you on BS. When Bob brought in that shady character and started all the trouble after GBC had already been thru so much...I saw shades of PP and the other good ol boys.
On another subject, it will be interesting to read Wade Bureleson's summary on "Big Mac's" preaching at the SBC convention. That whole thing (the convention)is such a joke!
It really freaks me out to hear Mac or SG way of gopher's videos or a friend who sends snippets to me.
If I don't go to the quiet church I visit...I would rather read my Bible alone and pray than sit somewhere and be screamed at and talked to like I am not human. The "authority" thing is just over the top! Like dysfunctional abusive parents treat their kids.

Hey Richard...just curious...have you been reading a while or commented before just recently???? If you are new...Welcome!!!

TP...Nass is going to have to come up with a different nick name for you :)

Richard said...

Hi gmommy, and thank you for the warm welcome. I’ve been blogging for a year or so now. I’m in Jacksonville and, as you are no doubt well aware, we are having our own “Baptist” issues down here. Bob Gray, Mac Brunson, Darrell Gilyard, Jerry Vines … Brunson refers to us as a “hotbed of legalism” – and if I can quote him … HA!

I was originally led to Tiffany Croft’s blog during the Gilyard embarrassment. I never saw any blogs on Bob Gray but there was plenty of news articles. It was from Tiffany’s blog that I was led to the FBCJax Watchdog site and from there to this site. I’ve read quite a lot of Tiffany’s blog, most of Watchdog’s blog, and a lot of this blog. I find Christa’s blog comments too painful to read at times. And the more I read the madder I got as a Christian. No matter that I am a Presbyterian and not a Baptist; principle, morals, and knowing right from wrong gave me the incentive. I know not all of the players; I was never sexually abused by a clergy member (or anyone else for that matter.) I’ve never set foot in FBCJax, but have lived here all my life and remember the pastors all the way back to Homer Lindsay, Sr.

About a month or so ago I couldn’t keep my proverbial mouth shut – or in this case my fingers off the keyboard – any longer. It just started flowing. Anything that I post I hope bloggers to find informative and helpful. I try to temper my sarcasm, which I am prone to. If someone could point me in the direction of a blog where this kind of crap is going on in a Presbyterian church, please someone direct me to it. I’m not a discriminatory blogger.

The atrocities that are going on in some of our churches needs to be communicated to the masses in some form. These blogs are the only thing that seems to be working that I can see.

For those who might get a bit of satisfaction out of this, you can go to:

State of Florida Department of Corrections Inmate Population Search. Type Darrell Gilyard’s name in there and you can see his new mug shot.

gmommy, it is my sincere wish that you find peace.

Ramesh said...

You can read what Pastor Wade thought about Pastor Mac's sermon at the Pastor's Conference today:

Wade's Blog > Thoughts on Sunday Night Pastor's Conference.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anyone heard anything about Jamie Parker accepting a position as minister of music at a church in North Carolina?

gmommy said...

Hey Richard,
I am so "over" the denomination separation. No denomination has all the "right" answers.
I do have several blogs written by Presbyterians but so for the ones I have are a little too "busy" for me. I get over loaded pretty easily. I have 2 younger Presbyterians ministers who I communicate with.
I did ask Christa how the Presbyterians deal with the crime of clergy sexual abuse and her information is that they are doing a much better job of protecting the innocent!
I know it's difficult to read the painful posts and comments and I appreciate your compassion. When you try and stay informed. People need to know! You can tell someone who doesn't know!! It was amazing to me the reactions from BBC people who didn't want their bubble to burst ...and the "secular" people not even involved in the church but appalled!!!!You can see by the comments on the articles...there is always sympathy for the perps...not so much for the victims.
I don't know if you read Wade's blog but there is a precious Catholic believer who keeps those good ol boys on their toes!!! Some have been really mean to is upsetting but she perseveres!!
Thank you for your kindness and for joining us!

gmommy said...

Hey TP!!
Is there a way I can click on Wade's link and FF to MB just to see a minute of him spitting nails???

Also, to those of you who use can add links to the articles and stories so that others can be informed... many are so busy being church people...they have no idea!!!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Welcome, Richard!

NASS left the coolness of Minnesota today for a few days in... shall we say... a slightly warmer climate. Noting the time on the digital dashboard clock on the sheepmobile as I pulled out of the driveway, it was... I kid you not... 11:11.

gmommy said...

Oc must have computer problems ...he has been missing in cyberland for a while.

WishIhadknown said...

There is an interesting article in today's Commercial Appeal about how the SBC is going to stem the tide of declining membership by not being as political as they have been in the past. ????
As always these guys look at a problem and come up with the wrong answer.
Do they ever read their Bibles? The Bible has the answer to your declining membership.
Do they ever really, trully pray?
Seems to me you stop members from leaving by not dividing people and pitting one against the other because of music. Used to be the best music in the world now we are all stuck with rock music and really, really bad rock music at that.
Seems to me you don't tell people to leave "if you don't agree with me."
Seems to me you keep the office of pastor in a right relationship to the congregation.
(My Pastor truly gets it because he says, "This is your church and I am just the man you have called to be your Pastor.")
Seems to me you use scripture to divine truth; not as a club to beat people into submission or bully them around.
Seems to me you deal with staff members who sin in an appropriate manner.
I could go on but why bother. The bluebloods and the powers that be are the real thinkers after all and they don't need mere believers like me to give them advice.

Richard said...


"First Baptist Blogger" suing church

New BBC Open Forum said...

Hey Richard,

Since your last two comments more or less canceled each other, what say I just hold them for now?

New BBC Open Forum said...


The news report wasn't completely accurate. The lawsuit is against Brunson and Soud as individuals, not "the church."

Richard said...

ya, sorry about jumpin the gun on the first one, but Christa straightened me out.

As far as the lawsuit, it had just been posted on the Jacksonville news and I only knew what was written. I'm sure Tom will write a new string and explain it all to us.

Perhaps Brunson knew this last night when he was screaming so loud.

bent but not broken @ GFBC said...,,PTID314526%7CCHID598014%7CCIID2474346,00.html

Grant Gaines makes a couple of very interesting points in his article: "Exegetical Critique of Multi-Site: Disassembling the Church?"

The most interesting are:
"In a top-down approach, when the top turns sour, it is only a matter of time before the majority of the bottom does as well."

And:"This might not provide the same level of control that a pastoral staff has in a multi-site situation,..."


Connectionalism has historically proven to offer a slippery slope toward liberalism. The history of connectionalism (as seen for example in Catholicism, the Episcopal Church, and the Presbyterian Church U. S. A.) is not exactly a history worth repeating. In a top-down approach, when the top turns sour, it is only a matter of time before the majority of the bottom does as well.

When congregational churches go liberal, the damage is contained. Notice also the difference between the connectional model and the cooperation model. When the executive committees and the seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention became liberal, the local churches which remained conservative were able to assert a conservative resurgence in the latter half of the twentieth century since the local churches controlled the executive committee and not the other way around.[18] Multi-site leaders should seriously consider this lesson from history before continuing with this model, and others should do the same before buying into it.


In view of the fact that multi-site churches are outside the bounds of Scripture, why not plant churches and maintain close cooperation with an associational type of model? This practice has the potential to preserve many of the "benefits" of the multi-site approach, while simultaneously respecting the biblical nature of the local church as assembly.[19] Multi-site churches could move toward turning each site into a church plant, and form, if they desire, their own association of churches that are bound not by church-governmental authority but by voluntary submission to a statement of faith and code of conduct. This might not provide the same level of control that a pastoral staff has in a multi-site situation, but it does have the advantage of (i) preserving the biblical teaching of the church as assembly, (ii) avoiding the slippery slope toward liberalism characteristic of connectionalism, (iii) guarding a church from being driven by pragmatism, and (iv) providing the same benefits which the proponents of the multi-site model seek."

New BBC Open Forum said...


Long time, no see. I agree with Grant Gaines on this -- for the most part. I fail to see why bringing "librulism" and the CR into it was relevant, but I agree with the concept of planting churches rather than starting satellite churches for the "leadership" at the "main campus" to keep under their thumbs. But then, we know it's about "giving units," the more and bigger the better.

Junkster said...

New BBC Open Forum said...
Noting the time on the digital dashboard clock on the sheepmobile as I pulled out of the driveway, it was... I kid you not... 11:11


New BBC Open Forum said...

CORRECTION: Information I received a couple weeks ago indicated that the initial location of the "Arlington campus" was going to be on Huff Puff Road in Lakeland. This is incorrect! A group led by Scott Benjamin is starting a church plant called "theRefuge" at that location. They've already begun and say they'll be completely up and running in October.

I know for a fact there are people who've read this blog who knew the idea that BBC's "Arlington campus" was going to be at this location was incorrect, but not one person stepped up to correct it. I'd just like to say thank you -- not!

The purpose of this blog is not to spread false rumors and gossip. It's not some silly game! The purpose is to disseminate accurate information. I have an e-mail address posted in my profile. In the future if you see inaccurate information posted here, will you please take a moment to e-mail me with any corrections or simply post them in a comment?

Oh, and where were you, oh omniscient "BBC Staff"? You see, two weeks ago I delayed posting (and soon rejected) two comments from someone calling himself BBC Staff in which s/he said...

As a BBC staff member, I finally woke up to God's calling. I am starting a new blog entitled "BBC Daily Staff Report." On this blog I will report the daily, verifiable happenings around the BBC campus. I am in upper level meetings and have direct access to all things Bellevue. Please feel free to come and read my new blog written from the inside as I present the truth at Bellevue.

That was on a Tuesday evening. I immediately suspected this was a hoax and not a very good one at that. In fact, I haven't seen this bad an effort since "truth rules" dropped in before April Fool's Day a couple years ago. The following day "BBC Staff" posted some information s/he claimed came from a recent staff meeting. Most of it was information that was already public knowledge and most of that was wrong.

Then less than 48 hours after s/he showed up, "BBC Staff" went poof! His/her blog was removed, and I see even the profile is no longer visible. Wonder why? Oooh... did someone get to him? LOL! Sorry, buddy, you'll have to do a lot better than that.

I do not believe the information about the "new church" was in any way an attempt on the part of anyone to mislead, so I don't want to give that impression. It came from a trusted source. I believe it was simply information about this new church which came out at the same time the "Arlington campus" was front page news, and it was assumed references to "theRefuge" were referring to the "Arlington campus" when they were not. Phrases like "our new church plant" from people still at BBC certainly gave that impression, but again, I don't believe there was any intention to mislead.

My only issue about this was that not one person bothered to correct it, and I know there are readers of this blog who knew better. BTW, no one has corrected it yet. I just happened to come across the information myself today, realized I had published incorrect information earlier, and want to correct that now.

All the best to Scott Benjamin and those folks in their efforts.

New BBC Open Forum said...

CORRECTION: Steve's message will not be piped in live to the "Arlington campus." Rather, they have announced they will tape and show the previous week's "11:11" message. The 9:30 service will continue to be broadcast on TV.