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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Word Concerning the West Palm Beach Forum

Note: After writing this, I am quite tired. I apologize for any errors in it as I have not proofread it. It is over 3,300 words, so I realize that this may not be read by many. But I wrote this because my heart grieves over this situation and earnestly hope that I can contribute something positive to what has continued to become perpetually more negative. Please accept this lengthy article as a sincere word from the heart of a fellow brother in Christ who is catering to neither camp in this situation but only wants to encourage all of us (including myself) to think, write, live, and love in a way that is pleasing to Jesus. Thanks.

Introductory Thoughts

As I sit here, attempting to gather all my thoughts from the past couple of days, I find myself writing this with a measurable degree of reluctance. Of all people, I consider myself least relevant or worthy to address the issues here, but then again that may be my vantage point. I don’t want to go into the long details of the history of these tragic events, and it may be if you are not aware of what is going on, this post should be ignored.

But, it goes without saying that what has happened at FBCWPB has garnered national attention from mainstream press as well as blogs. At the outset of the developing story, I chose to refrain from commenting because I knew that others would be addressing the issue and didn’t think my commentary would be worthwhile. However, as providence would have it, I found myself backed into the situation just from doing a little homework and researching why and how all the new people (in the hundreds) have arrived at my blog.

Soon thereafter, I received word that Johnny Hunt this past Sunday had some strong words to say about bloggers, which I mentioned here. Not sure what was the source of that provocation, I did not speculate on what Hunt was addressing from his pulpit. However, within a matter of hours, I began getting emails and comments from people with sources within FBC Woodstock as well as members from FBCWPB about the connection with the Palm Beach Post Community Forum to which I was directed. Why I Am Writing

Although I am writing with this reluctance, I feel I should speak to this situation for a couple of reasons. First, I was brought into this situation as my blogposts and even comments were included in the forum discussion. Second, I have been corresponding to some members of FBCWPB and felt that it would be worthwhile to attempt to speak directly to the situation. Thirdly, while I do not know or have attended FBCWPB, I do know both Steve Flockhart and Johnny Hunt and have visited Crosspointe (then 2nd Baptist Church Millington) as well as FBC Woodstock on dozens of occasions. However, let me say that my acquaintance has been brief and uneventful, so I cannot and will not attempt to speak for or about these men. Finally, I love the SBC and even more the local church, the Bride of Christ. If there is anything I can say to build up the church, encourage believers, and care for those hurting, then I will chip in. Therefore, the intent of this article is not to address the dealings with Flockhart or Hunt but specifically about the Palm Beach Post Forum. That is not to say that the things which occurred are not important but simply to note that I am choosing not to address that aspect at this time. What happened is serious and catastrophic in scope, and I don’t want to minimize the consequential nature of what occurred. But having spent considerable time reading the forum and corresponding to church members, I am delimiting my comments to the response of FBCWPB and Crosspointe members alone. At this point, the forum has over 50 threads concerning the Flockhart situation. Yesterday, I spent a great deal of time trying to understand the nature of what is going on, and I noticed a couple of things. First, it is a forum and not a blog, and those who comment carry a screen name that usually upholds anonymity and doesn’t leave opportunity to contact the individuals personally (from what I could tell). Also, most of the threads are comprised of a relatively small number of people (compared with the sizes of Crosspointe and FBCWPB) who are really upset with the situation. However, this forum has received a great deal of attention, not the least of which I am lead to believe was the source of Hunt’s comments from this past Sunday. After spending several hours (literally) reading through the threads, I must say that it was excruciating for me as I was left with a pounding headache and a very depressed and troubled spirit within me. It appears that there is little or no moderation on what is being said, and I fear that the comments are spiraling out of control. Therefore, I am writing this in hope that my article can be a caution if not a stop sign in the superhighway of drive-by attacks and harmful statements that are taking place. With that said, I turn my attention to those who have posted on the forum:

My Response to the Palm Beach Post Forum

I have tried to understand what you are hoping to accomplish out of this forum, and I cannot help but think that the predominate goal is to achieve vindication from what has happened to you. I understand that you want your voices heard and the truth to come out, but it is clear that the approach you have taken has led you down to a path where such vitriolic and vehement comments have eclipsed any profitability in public discussion because what is on display is not civil discussion seeking clarity, reconciliation, and healing, but untamed tongues and unruly attitudes seeking sympathy from the world. Please hear me—the direction of your disclosure on this matter should be heavenward in prayer rather than fleshly in gossip, slander, and gloating over other people’s failures. I also feel that is important that you take your hurt, concerns, and questions to your respective churches. This is not a matter for the Palm Beach Post. This is a matter for the church to which you belong to address. In other words, this is a family matter, one which should be privately taken up within the ecclesiological leadership who have been called to handle the affairs of God’s people, not a faceless, unaccountable forum. Secondly, from another perspective, the issues being handled in each church should not be influenced, controlled, or guided by any other church or denominational entity such as state conventions or papers. I am not saying that you shouldn’t seek advice and godly counsel outside your church, but rather I am simply saying that you should respect the God-appointed authority and work through the channels in the church were unity could be kept and truth can be upheld. Hunt, Woodstock, Florida Baptist Convention, or any other outside influence should not dictate what takes place as you seek to move forward in being the church God has called you to be. Another concern I have had after reading many of the comments is an implicit denial of God’s providence in the affairs of life and tacit denial of God’s sovereignty in all things—including things which we don’t fully understand. I am not in the least bit in a place to explain why this has happened to you, but I can stand on the counsel of God’s Word that God is exhaustively and meticulously work in and through the events that have taken place. Unfortunately, from what I have read, it appears that those of you commenting are wanting to take the matter into your own hands. Rather than approaching the situation as though providence is not real and God is not sovereign, let me encourage you to submit yourselves to God and surrender your rights to get the last word. Consider for example the life of Joseph who had a series of terrible circumstances take place in his life, all which resulted him being placed second only to the king. What was his perspective on what took place? Joseph replied, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20). Joseph’s brothers just prior to this response called their actions evil and worthy of Joseph’s hatred, but the Scripture tells us that “he comforted them and spoke kindly to them” (vs. 21). Joseph knew that there were two meants—one was his brothers and the other was God’s. Behind all the sin and evil being perpetrated against Joseph, he knew that God was sovereign and His purpose would stand (Proverbs 19:21). I am sure that you are well aware that “God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). So in light of God’s character and working in our world, let us reflect this reality in our perspective as well as the way we respond to situations life when we don’t understand (Proverbs 3:5-6). What was evil for the Israelites was the forgetting and forsaking God to go after idols who could not satisfy them. I recall the Israelites in the wilderness grumbling against Moses and wishing they were back in Egypt in bondage and captivity. Egypt is representative the place where the Christian should not place their confidence, trust, hope, and security. Consider a woe from the mouth of Isaiah when he said, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord! (Isaiah 31:1). As a Christian, Jesus Christ, the Holy One of Israel, is our only source of strength, our refuge, our shelter in the time of storm, our very present help in time of trouble, our portion in the land of the living, our rock and fortress and shield. My struggle with this forum is that I believe you are taking the issue to Egypt (a secular, public forum) rather than to God and His church. Let me plead with you to go to God with all your heart and receive counsel from His Word rather than seek sympathy from the watching world. As I think back on my own life and ministerial experiences, I can quickly recall to you some terribly painful experiences in my own life—accounts where I have been manipulated, mistreated, slandered, and even physically threatened. I have been wrongfully fired from churches in the past only after having been verbally molested by men who could only call me “Absalom” instead of my real name. I share this with you because I have my own scars and wounds and have felt the hurt and pain of being wronged, mistreated, and manipulated. And yet I fear that my experiences is not too uncommon in churches today. It has been a long, hard road, but I can testify to you today that God used those times in my life to grow me in grace and reveal to me areas of hidden sin that kept me from a closer communion with Him. When I look at God’s work in sanctifying me, nothing grew me more and grounded me in God’s Word than the times of greatest testing. So it may very well be that God has allowed this to take place to grow you as well as reveal to you personal sin and need of repentance in your own life. Sufficient in us is the evil needing to repent of, in that greater work would be accomplished in personal growth than personal attacks. Consider the example of our Savior when he was mistreated:

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly (1 Peter 2:21-23).
While it is true that there are distinguishing marks of false teachers, there also defining marks of true believers. Our Savior said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). Furthermore, Scripture speaks very clearly on how we should handle our relationships with one another. For example, consider what Paul said to the church at Ephesus:

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:29-32).
And lest we forget, Jesus admonished us after the Lord’s Prayer concerning forgiveness when He said, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). Forgiveness is not an option for a believer. It is a command, and if we do not forgive those who have sinned against or wrongfully us, then we haven’t been near the cross. The vengeance which wants to be ours in the flesh does not belong to us but to the Lord who judges justly. Paul makes it clear that we should

“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:17-21).

As Christians we are what we are by the grace of God. Whatever wrong in me is due to my sin and whatever is praiseworthy is wholly of God’s grace. Correspondingly, I have learned that we must view each other by the grace of God and what that grace will accomplish in their lives as well as ours. If we attempt to enforce our law upon others, we will soon find ourselves incapable of living up to our own expectations of others and resort to blatant hypocrisy detrimental to the cause of Christ. If our brothers and sisters are in Christ, by all means, let us treat them as such, especially when our flesh and world tempts us to do otherwise. Not only should we view each other by the grace of God, live in light of God’s sovereignty and divine providence, have a heart of forgiveness, and love one another with the love of Christ, but we should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in everyday life. As I read the many comments, I struggled to find any evidence of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control. Please hear me out on this. I am not trying to be your “fruit inspector” but a watching world is reading and seeing what is taking place, so please don’t forget the potential worldwide audience before you. I have learned this in my own writing as I reflect back on some statements which I dishonored Jesus and mistreated a fellow brother in Christ. If we are not bearing fruit from abiding in Christ, then we need to evaluate whether or not our manner of life is worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:27).

Concluding Exhortation

Finally, let me close with some words of exhortation. I hope that they are met with receptive hearts as I desire to be sensitive to your situation. Remember that our Lord said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7). I don’t know about you, but I am a debtor of mercy, and having received such, what else am I to give except the same mercy to which I have received? Also, take a good look at your words, for by them you will be judged on the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36-37). During this time, consider how God could use this situation to grow you in grace and furnish you with greater faith as you trust in Him. Treasure the promises of God that He will build His church (Matthew 16:18) and that He is with you always (Matthew 28:20), even in moments like these. Don’t be in bondage to bitterness but find freedom in forgiveness. Meditate on James 1 and pray that God would give you wisdom as you seek to “count it all joy” when you undergo such times of adversity. When you write and comment, two questions to ask yourself: One, “Does this glorify God?” and two, “Will this edify the Church?” If you cannot answer those questions affirmatively, then it could be that you have another agenda other than God, His glory, His truth, and His Church. Go to your church and pray, love, serve, repent, and reconcile. Encourage on another, exhort one another, minister to one another, and comfort one another. Above all, point West Palm Beach and the watching world to your Good Shepherd who will lead you and be with you during these times. It is He who will lead you beside still waters and be with you in the valley of the shadow of death. It is His mercy and grace that will follow you all the days of your lives, and He will satisfy you and show you that He is all that you would ever want. Although you have experienced some bad examples of sherpherds in recent years, you have One who is committed to building His church which will prevail against all odds and overcome all circumstances. Pour out your hearts to him and trust in Him, for He is your refuge.

I realize that I am not really qualified to speak to this situation, but I have been put in a situation where people from Millington, Woodstock and West Palm Beach have visited my blog. You may not consider anything I say worth your time, but please take God’s Word and make it consume your time and your thoughts. As Christians, we do not have the luxury to bypass God’s all-authoritative, timely, and inspired Word. And if, perhaps, my posts and comments are used as a platform to conjure up anger, resentment, bitterness, and strife, please remove my name and clear me from the forum. Remember that the medium in which we should take up these matters should be prayer and not a public forum, through your local church and not the world-wide community. If I can do anything, I want to lovingly help bring reconciliation and hope in the midst of a very sad and troubling situation, and I pray that, by God’s good grace, these words have been well worth your time.

To all of you who have taken the time to read all of this, first, thank you. It was a long post. Second, please pray for Crosspointe and First Baptist West Palm Beach. Third, pray for the Flockhart family. Let us never forget that we are the family of God, and we are not our own enemies. Let us overcome the accuser of the brethren by the love and mercy of our Savior. For the sake of His name and the upbuilding of His Church, let us submit our lives, our agendas, and our own failures to the Lord and pray that He would be pleased to use us in our generation for the purpose of bringing him glory.


Blogger Timmy said...

Quickly after my post was written, I noticed that it was added to the forum. I will use the comments section of this post to reply to those who have responded to my article. I do this because I am choosing not to get on the forum as that would be inconsistent for me to perpetuate the very thing I believe shouldn’t exist (at least not for Christians to respond in such unhelpful and unspiritual ways as I have been). I don't plan on commenting much, but will limit my words to direct responses to those who have responded to my article.

9/21/2006 09:17:00 PM

Blogger Opened Eyes said...

We appreciate your input in reference to your observations of the Palm Beach Post forum threads dealing with the Steve Flockhart fiasco. The members of Crosspointe, FBC of WPB and even the members of the Dalton, Georgia churches have been struggling over and attempting to deal with the corruption that has been revealed.

While this public, secular forum may not have been the best choice to air our dirty laundry, it has been the only plausible choice. To counsel that members of each respective church should have communicated with their churches directly is next to impossible, and would be to assume that we have healthy churche administrations with which we can discuss and attempt to resolve these problems. Many of us have done this in the past to no avail. Our churches are totally unhealthy. The administrations don't welcome any questioning. They are "above reproach," and the head pastors have complete say.

One of the major issues that has been revealed during this forum is that members who do not agree with the way church administrations conduct business are labeled “trouble makers.” Their intelligence, mental status as well as their Christianity is questioned. They are quickly pointed to the scriptures that speak on church disruptors and shown the door.

Another major issue that has been revealed over the weeks is whether sin, corruption, dishonesty in church administrations and individual pastors should be revealed. Did the Lord ever advise Believers to hide sin, to keep it secret? No, I don't believe so. If I am wrong, please provide scripture references. Are there not behaviors that are specified for pastors? Yes.

1 Timothy 3
Qualifications of Overseers
1 Timothy 3:1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop,[a] he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,[b] but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (NKJV)

Titus1: 5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop[b] must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

Does scripture tell us that pastors & teachers are to be held to a higher standing? Yes.

James 3:My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

Are there not scriptures that direct us to warn others? Yes.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.
2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

2 Peter 2:18
[ Deceptions of False Teachers ] For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.

It appears that you have chosen to side with those who want all the dirt in the organized church to be swept under the rug, thereby, denying it’s existence. In this way, it does not have to be dealt with. Corruptness can continue to spread like hidden cancer throughout our churches.

You say that the number one commandment is to “Love one another.” This is true. If you love your child, do you not discipline him? Do you not scold, reprimand, rebuke wrong behaviors? Do you not warn your neighbor of impending dangers? Do you not throw the life tube when one is struggling in deep water? Do you not warn one of the thin ice upon which they tread?

Both sides are hurting. Both sides are seeking understanding. Both sides seek healing… individually as well as corporately. Both sides would rather not experience such an event again. We may never agree on scriptures. We may never come to share the same opinion. But, we never again want to experience such a heart rending incident.

Once more, there are those who want the corruption cleaned out all the way to the upper echelons of the Southern Baptist Convention, while others want to deny there is any corruption. For the time being, we will have to agree to disagree. However, this does not mean that those whose eyes have been opened will be content to let the cancer continue to spread.

"But know this, that in the last days stressful times will come" (2 Tim 3:1).

9/22/2006 07:25:00 AM

Blogger mythoughts said...

South Florida Talk
Back to Topic List

great By mythoughts
It is a good piece but the author assumes that we have a healthy church structure to work within at FBC and Crosspointe (correct me Crosspointe if I am wrong.)

It is obvious to all here that we are here because we have major breakdowns in the churches we attend. I love you all, and the good debate, but this is the last place I want to be. I would much prefer to deal with this with my church family at FBC, believe me!!

But when you have an unhealthy church that is shrouded in secrecy you get people that try to work outside that sick system. The fact that we are all here is a good sign that the systems in place in our churches DON'T work and the membership is not being listened to. Otherwise I think we might just all be chatting over a cup at Starbucks.

We (FBC) have tried and tried to get our church back to a healthy state but my fear is that it will never return to it's First Love. Just like Esau sold his birthright I am afraid that FBC has abandoned its.

I only see a few choices:
1. Try to get our churches back on track.
2. Leave our churches and go where God leads.
3. Stop going to church since it is a hopeless mess.
4. Go to an unhealthy church and keep one's mouth shut and suffer high blood pressure.

If you all have any suggestions please feel free.

9/22/2006 07:58:00 AM

Blogger Timmy said...

Opened Eyes (Vickie),

Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog. Instead of me writing lengthy comments covering all the issues raised, I will several short comments to address each individual issue directly.

First, before I address the situation, let's consider the forum again. I have heard from you and others about the inability to take these matters to your church leaders and seek help and find answers to this situation. It is a very troubling thing if indeed it is the case that something this big of a deal is not immediately and adequately addressed by the leaders of the church. It is their responsibility to care for and tend to the church's well-being, especially when she is a crisis. I am aware that there is a meeting next week, but it is my understanding that this is the first meeting since everything went down--about a month later. This is not good.

But be that as it may, the forum troubles me for a couple of reasons. First, everyone posts under a pseudonym and therefore you do not know who you are talking to. Second, it allows people to say what they want in an unaccountable fashion about people who are not anonymous. Do you see the inconsistency here? Third, this forum has no moderation or oversight, so anything goes. Palm Beach Post should be responsible for what is posted on their community forum and should oversee it, but it appears they don't, which leads to my fourth point. Finally, the forum is a secular medium open to the entire world. This is simply not the place to address the serious nature of the issues you guys are facing.

Look, I wish you guys had an appropriate place to go and express your frustration, hurt, questions, and feelings of betrayal. But I just don't think an ecclesiological break-down constitutes an antinomian (lawless) approach to the situation. If the leaders in your respective churches don't take the initiative to heal the body and address the issues, then you guys take the initiative to go to your church and try to work together with one another in a spirit of prayer and a willingness to handle these matters according to the Word of God.

I just think in the end, you will be regretting that the forum ever existed. While the temptation to vent and rant on the forum proved irresistible, it may also prove that things said were irresponsible.

9/22/2006 03:42:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

Vickie (OE),

You said: "It appears that you have chosen to side with those who want all the dirt in the organized church to be swept under the rug, thereby, denying it’s existence. In this way, it does not have to be dealt with. Corruptness can continue to spread like hidden cancer throughout our churches."

I haven't sided with anyone. I am not saying that the "dirt" should be swept under the rug. What I am saying that there is an appropriate way to handle the matters of the church other than the forum, and I encourage you and others to work to do just that. I am not saying that it should not be dealt with. The purpose of my post and saying what I have said has centered on your response, not the actions of Flockhart and others. I grieve for you guys and only desire that you guys conduct yourselves and handle the matter in a godly and biblical way. I am not overlooking the horrible things which have happened. I just have chosen not to address that right now. I want to focus on the forum and how you guys are responding to what has happened. I believe God wants to use this to teach us, to grow us, to humble us, and to draw us closer to him. God will hold others accountable for what has happened, but he will also hold you accountable to how you will have responded.

9/22/2006 03:50:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

Let me say something about the church structure and polity here:

1. In the SBC, the local church is autonomous, meaning that each church is independent of any hierarchial strctures as in episcopalian or presbyterian structures. That said, each church is responsible for handling the matters within the church, placing responsiblity solely up the leadership of the local church and the membership being actively involoved in serving, supporting, and praying for the church and her leadership.

2. The local church should also practice church discipline where sin is appropriately handled according to biblical directives. The sin of believers shouldn't be scandalized as though we feed off some tabloidish gossip or rumor mills. Rather, the church should seek to restore and win back straying sheep and bring them back to the fold. In other words, church discipline is not to air dirty laundry and point out their faults publicly. It is to address their sin with a redemptive mindset, praying that they will repent and return to the Lord and His church.

3. Thirdly, the Bible gives a regulative principle on church polity and leadership. Unfortunately, many churches today have adopted a CEO mentality where the "senior pastor" basically runs the church. When so much power, control, decision-making, money, and popularity is wrapped up in one person, corruption is right around the corner. What happened with Enron in the corporate level is happening all over our churches in smaller degrees. Contrary to this, God calls the church to a plurality of elders in leadership where they do not rule but lead the church in a balanced and biblical way. The CEO senior pastor model has lead to a celebrity status among our pastors where people are following personalities more than our Savior. Like the Corinthians, people are saying, "I follow _________, but we follow _________." This ought not be.

It looks like in your situation, what has been revealed is that there is a breakdown in all there, especially the last two. These churches really need reform if indeed this is the case. The lasting effects of all that has happened, I hope, will be the change in the change in church polity and leadership towards a more biblical model. There are ways to "do church" that can prevent things like this from happening again. I hope that such measures are taken so that will never be repeated.

9/22/2006 04:04:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

Vickie (OE),

You said: "Once more, there are those who want the corruption cleaned out all the way to the upper echelons of the Southern Baptist Convention, while others want to deny there is any corruption. For the time being, we will have to agree to disagree. However, this does not mean that those whose eyes have been opened will be content to let the cancer continue to spread."

I believe what has happened with FBCWPB and CP has reached all the way to the top, and I believe this has alot of people either squirming or now paying attention to the rampant problems in our churches and need for local church reform. Do I think there needs to be a change in our convention and that there is corruption? Yes I do. But do I believe the SBC elites are where the buck stops? No I don't. They can't and won't change the situation. The answer lies not in them or the SBC but the local church and its leadership and reform. There are other churches who have received spotlight in recent months such as FBC Germantown, and I believe under the radar there are much more of these occurances which we simply do not hear about. Only the megachurches make the spotlight, but maybe the spotlight can be turned into a flood light and expose what more churches are experiencing today.

But suffice it to say, the hope and answer to these crises is not the SBC Convention or SBC elites, but in the rank and file SBCers who serve in the church and realize that our churches need biblical reform. This begins when people are informed on the biblial models of church polity and structure and have trained leadership committed to the church enough to see such reforms take place.

9/22/2006 04:12:00 PM

Blogger Timmy said...

For now, let me answer one more question posed on the forum:

My Thoughts said: "I think I will become Presbyterian. They have a better church structure and the members have a voice. Course then I might have to become a Calvinist. Wonder if they take non-Calvinists?? I love the Baptist doctrine but hate that they don't apply much of what they learn."

I am glad to inform you that the SBC was founded by Calvinists, and historical Baptist doctrine in Calvinistic (Reformed). The only main differences in Presbyterians is paedobaptism (infant baptism) and credobaptism (believer's baptism) and church government. There are many solid churches in the SBC which are seeking to do it right. Let me point you to Founders Ministries (www.founders.org). There you can find "Founders Friendly Churches" as well as information on the historic, Baptist distinctives.

There are better church structures in the SBC where you do have a voice . . . and being a Calvinist is not bad (trust me). Calvinists might just be the people in the SBC who want to apply what they learn. :)

Oh, and to answer OE's question. Not be a Calvinist is to be an Arminian (not Armenian - that's an ethnic people, not a theological system). Some would argue that there is a middle position ("the Baptist" way), but they are really inconsistent and/or misguided in their theology. And Baptist is a categorical difference (ecclesiological identity) and not theological framework (theological identity).

9/22/2006 04:22:00 PM

Blogger A Ragamuffin too..... said...

Check this out......corruption in Crosspointe Baptist church, Millington.


8/06/2011 10:22:00 PM


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