"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Glimmer of Hope: So Far Trinity's Fuller is Saying the Right Things

Perhaps there is a glimmer of hope in this Trinity Baptist Church scandal.

After listening to the May 30, 2010 sermon of Trinity's young pastor, Brian Fuller - who now must clean up the mess left by previous pastor Chuck Phelps - just maybe these younger pastors are looking at the deplorable way scandals are usually handled at Baptist churches, and they are learning how NOT to respond to scandal in their church. Fuller's 38-minute sermon is devoted mostly to explaining the need for the church to face the harsh criticism from this scandal without lashing back, take a hard look at themselves and what was done in 1997 and what it says about them now, and see what restitution needs to be made and what change needs to occur at their church.

So maybe the light that has been shone on Baptist scandals by bloggers over the past 5 years is providing results - younger pastors like Fuller realize the tired old cover, sweep-under-the- rug, never-admit-any-wrong-doing, attack and defend tactics are wrong.

You'll notice in his sermon Fuller is not lashing out at church critics or even his personal critics. In fact he tells his church to avoid this temptation, as there may be truth in what is negatively being said about the church. He acknowledges wrong may have been done, that perhaps the church treated the victim wrongly, did not do enough to see justice done to a criminal, and that significant change to their church polity may be required.

When is the last time you heard THAT from a Baptist immediately following the scandal hitting the newspaper about their church?

When you listen to Fuller's sermon, what he did NOT say is just as striking as what he did say.

He did not say "touch not thine annointed".

He is not telling us what a wonderful godly pastor and "man of God" Chuck Phelps was or is.

He is not minimizing the crimes of the perpetrator.

He is not doing as some SBC pastor/bloggers do and lash out and belittle and attack those who are calling for an investigation into a scandal.

He is not blaming the liberal media for attacking his church.

No deacons resolutions about unjust criticism.

He isn't calling his personal critics or his church's critics "the haters".

He hasn't called anyone involved a "sociopath", and the president of the trustees of Trinity is throwing around "coward" accusations.

He didn't fly in two pastor friends to say how wonderful everything is at his church and what a great family he has and that their policies and procedures are hunky dory and that we all need to pray for the reporters salvation.

He didn't hold a Wednesday night prayer meeting and mischaracterize the sins of the criminal as being "non sexual" and nothing "immoral".

He didn't say Phelps' actions were a mistake of the head and not of the heart.

He didn't say that what Phelps did he did because he was charged by God to protect the flock, and then read a scripture and shed a tear while getting a standing ovation. He didn't call their mistakes "stumbles" and make himself out to be the victim of a reporter.

It doesn't sound like he's going to pursue a state baptist resolution demanding bloggers to repent of their divisive words, and I don't think any trespass warnings are coming forth for any critical bloggers or their wives.

None of that. He is contrite, serious, very concerned over what his church may have done - and seems genuinely committed to finding the truth and then making necessary apologies to victims and/or the community.

I know that some WD readers will understandably be skeptical of Fuller. I am too. It's very early. We will wait and see what his actions are now. But the man has already shown that he has more integrity than just about every other mega church pastor in the past 5 years that has faced scandal at his church, because Fuller is focusing INWARD and not OUTWARD. He acknowledges that his church needs to step back and examine themselves and listen to their critics, instead of attacking those who are asking questions.

In fact, he acknowledges their church has lots of questions that need to be answered, and is committed to answering them.

Imagine that: a Baptist pastor who faces a scandal at his church, and right off the bat acknowledges the possiblity his church may have done wrong, and is committed to answering questions and being held accountable and making restitution if necessary.

The following statement appears on their website, with a hyperlink to his 5/30/10 sermon:

"In reviewing the events of October 1997, the present leadership is seeking answers for the victim, our congregation, as well as our entire Concord community. The prayers of our entire church are for justice to be served to the alleged perpetrator, and that mercy and care will be extended to the victim.

To listen to Pastor Fuller's Message to the congregation
click here."

And we all pray that Pastor Fuller will be an example for other Baptist pastors to follow when faced with scandal and wrong-doing in their church.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great and refreshing article!

A lot of our younger generation have been raised in churches & Christian schools who have witnessed for themselves how so called leaders lived "inside" the church but they live different lifestyle "outside" the church. These leaders have kids who have shared the hypocrocy of their parents with them. These are the younger generation that will make great pastors.

As for myself, I look at a church leaders kids as it tells me a lot about how they live in their private lives at home. They simply don't have messed up kids, they've never divorced and have mates who sincerely love them. These are the parents who raise up sons like this young pastor.

Christa Brown said...

Count me among the skeptical... but of course, if true deeds ultimately reveal Fuller's words to be genuine, then that will a joy.

I think I would have felt better about Fuller's sermon if he had flat-out apologized and expressed remorse for his own action -- i.e., for the email he sent out telling congregants to talk about this "only" to God. (Did I miss that part of his sermon? Was it in there somewhere?) THAT was what Fuller did immediately after the ugly news about his church hit the press. In fact, I can't help but wonder... if the Associated Press hadn't gotten ahold of Fuller's email to church members and hadn't made it public, would Fuller have ever preached this sermon? I wonder.

And I would have felt better about the sermon if he had pro-actively beseeched people and pleaded with them to share any and all information that they might have with the police. And I would have felt better if he had begged anyone else who might have information about any other disturbing incidents in the church to speak up -- to speak up again even if they've tried to speak up before -- and to give the church a chance -- or a second chance -- to rectify it.

Actions will tell the tale.

Anonymous said...

Let us not be like more liberals and think words are the same as deeds. I agree with Christa. Now is the time to get it out in the open. But note, it is always after the media reports it that they even talk about it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Christa,

I'm the 2:42 commenter. The main reason I like this blog is because people like YOU make me recount and rethink about the issue in a different manner.

6:37 commenter is likewise on target which gave me more food for thought. They said "But note, it is always after the media reports it that they even talk about it."

As always, thanks especially to the ever talented FBC Jax Watchdog for giving us insight on current issues we'd have no idea of what was going on without these reports.

Also Skeptical said...

I have a feeling, Christa, that even if Fuller had done all you said you'd rather he had done, you'd still find something more not to like or trust. That's understandable, given your experiences. But it wouldn't hurt to take the good where you can find it, as Watchdog has done.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Not saying all is well at Trinity.

I am saying if Fuller was following the template used by most baptist preachers, now is when he says things like:

"How do you know when you are doing great things for God? When people accuse you and attack you."

He could have bemoaned the negative press coverage, how they never get a fair shot from the media - made it an "us" versus "them" - but instead he says let's listen to our critics and see if what they're saying about us is true.

He would have said "it was an itty bitty fence"; if you know what I mean.

So let's see where this goes and what Fuller and his church does at this point.

I said "a glimmer" of hope.

Anonymous said...

Is there a church scandal that doesn't interest you?

I am amazed at the idea of a blog set up to criticize God's church. Your not prophets, just gossips. A blog, like a 24 hour news cycle, always requires more news. To keep a site like this relevant, you always have to be digging through some church's trash.

Anonymous said...

Is there a church scandal that doesn't interest you?

I am amazed at the idea of a blog set up to criticize God's church. Your not prophets, just gossips. A blog, like a 24 hour news cycle, always requires more news. To keep a site like this relevant, you always have to be digging through some church's trash.

June 6, 2010 10:34 AM

It is a wake up call. You are not more righteous for ignoring all the evil from those who make a living professing Christ. You actually help it to grow and take more people with it.

debbiekaufman said...

If the church didn't have so much trash, there wouldn't be anything to dig up would there? I know many would rather keep it hidden, but to want to purify the church isn't seen as gossip, especially where destroyed lives are involved and it should have the spotlight put on it. It's time. Before blogs what was seen was only what the powers that be wanted the media to see. We being on the inside seen and know the trash first hand and frankly I'm tired of the trash even being there to be dug up.

Get rid of the trash, become the church Christ builds, and there will be no more reason to blog like this, until then, I think we need to throw the money changers out. We are Christ's hands and feet according to the Bible, we have Christ living in us, we think much like Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. So...

Anonymous said...

The idea of a blog that openly attacks the church in the name of getting out the trash, as debbie said, is quite unBiblical. This is nothing more than a cestpool of gossip. You should repent.

Debbie, you are not Christs hands and feet -- christ does not slap his Bride in the face. He does not gossip about his Bride.

if the church is so unrepairable you must take to the internet -- then just leave. You are trampeling the blood of Christ in public.

tikatu said...

Anon. 7:07

What do you think the Bride of Christ should do? Let the trash fester and smell, giving off a stink to the world around us? Continue burying the sin of its so-called leaders deep, so it spreads like a cancer, poisoning her?

Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Exposling the Pharisees of our day can only make the Bride healthier, and show that we, as the Church, mean what we say, that we know how to clean our own house. God has provided blogs as a tool in that cleansing; more secret sin has been unearthed and had the purifying light poured on it than ever before because of these "gossip" blogs. They aren't hurting the Church; they are pointing out the cancer, so it can be excised.

Lydia said...

"christ does not slap his Bride in the face."

In a manner of speaking He does. See, without Holiness one will not see God. And He disciplines those who are His.

He WILL present a pure (not perfect) but pure Bride to Himself:

For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 2 Corin 11

"... just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. Eph 1

"...yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach- Col 1:22

"...so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Eph 5

He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.


26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will[e] abide in Him. 1 John 2

4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 1 John 3

And the clincher after you read the letters to the churches:

8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Rev 21

Note: The "unbelieving" are included in this list. What does that tell us?

Lydia said...

The idea of a blog that openly attacks the church in the name of getting out the trash, as debbie said, is quite unBiblical. This is nothing more than a cestpool of gossip. You should repent.

Debbie, you are not Christs hands and feet -- christ does not slap his Bride in the face. He does not gossip about his Bride.

if the church is so unrepairable you must take to the internet -- then just leave. You are trampeling the blood of Christ in public.

June 6, 2010 7:07 PM

BTW: You remind me of parents who want their children to behave well in public so they will look like good parents in front of others. But are not concerned about what is in their children's hearts that cause them to be so mean.

Anonymous said...

"BTW: You remind me of parents who want their children to behave well in public so they will look like good parents in front of others. But are not concerned about what is in their children's hearts that cause them to be so mean."

BTW: Poor comparison. You and bloggers who justify trashing the church in the public arena are not the parent(s) of the church.

Parents have been given authority over the children God gives them. None of us have authority over God's church. God has not given this responsibility to anyone. Some have taken it.

Any Christian, pastor or pew sitter who usurps God's place over the church is in deep trouble. When I read this blog (and a few others), it is obvious there are a few people who will have some explaining to do to the owner of the church.

A few examples which are prevalent:

1 - God, here's why I took the authority from You. You wouldn't do anything so I had too.
2 - God, here's why I robbed You. I was not going to give my tithe to any church I attend or disagree with. there are better ways to give "MY" money.
3 - God, here's why I promoted drinking. Your bible says I can. it matters not that the bible says:

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.

Bottom line: I have the right to have a bully pulpit since so many of those evil mega church pastors have one.

Anonymous said...

wow, May 30 you bash him and tell the church to disobey their pastor and now you say "So Far Trinity's Fuller is Saying the Right Things"....more proof that you are a walking contradiction and of no value in the debate concerning the future of the church.

tikatu said...

Anon. 11:30

Obviously, you don't believe in a change of heart from a pastor... or a blogger. Watchdog is being fair by reporting that Fuller has changed his mind about some issues in the Tina Anderson case.

First y'all post how negative he is, and when he posts something positive, you jump down his throat. Talk about contradictions...

Lydia said...

"BTW: Poor comparison. You and bloggers who justify trashing the church in the public arena are not the parent(s) of the church.
"

It is a METAPHOR. Do not make the mistake of taking Metaphors too far like most pastors do with the Shepherd metaphor thinking the sheep should stay dumb and blindly follow them.

It is a metaphor about yourTYPE OF THINKING. Your concern is more about the IMAGE you project to the world instead of changed hearts on the inside. Fruit is not to be produced as in works but we BEAR it because we stay attached to the VINE which constantly feeds us.

To you, the bigger sin is to out the evil in the Body. You would be happier if it was kept private because it is embarassing. It is hard to be self righteous when so much of this evil is being found out. The evil perps love people like you and depend on your thinking this way.

"Any Christian, pastor or pew sitter who usurps God's place over the church is in deep trouble."

Exactly what do you mean by this? If God was in authority at this church, the situation would NOT have been handled the way it was. The problem is exactly that Jesus Christ is NOT the authority in our churches. Man is and that can only lead to the problems we are seeing.

" When I read this blog (and a few others), it is obvious there are a few people who will have some explaining to do to the owner of the church."

Owner of what? A building? Then
TRUE Body of Christ is made up of humans where God DWELLS in the human temple. NOt in a building. So, when they are doing evil, God is not dwelling in the humans who happen to be in a building.

"A few examples which are prevalent:

1 - God, here's why I took the authority from You. You wouldn't do anything so I had too."

One must wonder why He had the Epistles written with tons of instructions, warnings and situations to learn from if we are not to do anything. Funny still, most of them are written to the WHOLE Body...not just the leaders at the time. In fact, in many Epsistles we have NO idea who the pastor or elders were.

This would mean Paul gave very bad counsel in 1 Corin 5. He told them to ACT. He did not tell them to wait upon God to do something.


"2 - God, here's why I robbed You. I was not going to give my tithe to any church I attend or disagree with. there are better ways to give "MY" money."

You are living in the Old Covenant. Please make your case for the "Tithe" from the NC. And giving to brothers and sisters in need is the teaching of the NC. Not a "tithe" which was a tax for the theocracy of Isreal.

Of course, your pastor wants to you think it is a mandatory tithe. He would rather you NOT give it to other brothers and sisters in need.

"3 - God, here's why I promoted drinking. Your bible says I can. it matters not that the bible says"

Who is promoting drinking? Name names. And what does scripture say about drinking. The big argument is not whether Jesus drank wine but whetherit was fermented or not.

You sound like someone who needs to be a Berean. You believe whatever you have been taught. You probably think there are sacred pulpits in the NT.

I have not seen so much Biblical ignorance in one comment in a long time. But it sounds to me you will keep on learning from humans instead of the BEST teacher, the Holy Spirit. And that is the real shame.

Mike DeLong said...

I might gently suggest that Fuller has the freedom to be honest about this because it happened long enough ago that nobody currently in leadership in his church is implicated.

Anonymous said...

Did ANYONE, ANYWHERE, in ANY baptist church hear their pastor say any of the following:

1.) "We are way over budget. Thanks everyone. We should be able to generously give our surplus funds to others in need in our community and around the world. After all, it is God's money we have in the bank."

2.) "We are starting a capital campaign to raise funds for missions, the poor, the orphan and the needy. Our buildings are in fine shape and hold all of us comfortably. But I have a zeal, a passion, a calling, to raise funds and give to help others."

3.) "We were not good stewards of the budget when giving was higher. We put ourselves into debt by building more buildings and we hired too much staff that we cannot sustain. So we are going to streamline things so we can operate more efficiently and be better stewards of God's money to help those in need instead of just spending to maintain these buildings and to continue to pay our staff."

4.) "Our finance committee actually has a staff member, or staff member's wife, on it. This is a conflict of interest. How can we make hard decisions about being over staffed and reducing salary and benefits if the pastor's wife is on the committee? How can the Spirit lead us if a person's own self interest is going to be dominant?"

Please let me know if you heard that somewhere, it will really encourage me. I don't need to ask how many heard a preacher tell you that you need to GIVE MORE and that we need MORE MONEY to SUSTAIN OURSELVES...and THEN and ONLY THEN, can we begin to even think about looking outward.

And if our leaders are materialistic, and spend the entire budget on sustaining themselves and the budget, how do they expect us to do anything different. We too, will give more to the church when we have surplus in our budget. But we can't ask for someone else to give it to us, claiming that if they love Jesus, they will pay us more to prove it. We have to work and earn it and pay taxes on it, yet they still believe it is God's/Theirs.

No wonder 95% of the members DON'T TITHE and 87% Don't give a dime to these guys. We are all catching on! Amen and Amen!

Pathetic. And that includes YOUR church and mine, large and small.

Anonymous said...

I got beat up about money again this week. I am in dire financial straights and am trusting God to provide. I really needed to hear a word from God. I really needed an opportunity to help others. Instead, I got a mini rock concert and more pleas for money while being informed we won't do any outreach or missions due to not enough money. And those asking for the money are living the life of Riley at the best restaurants and beach living while I am working day and night. Not jealous, but saddened.

It seems our members are very generous, but the staff are poor stewards. They just can't seem to minister with the money God provides.

I feel like Eeyore leaving that place. Enough with the fund raising. Preach Jesus please and trust in Him to provide the budget funds you need.

Anonymous said...

Enough with the fund raising. Preach Jesus please and trust in Him to provide the budget funds you need.

June 7, 2010 3:21 PM

Do you not see the hypocrisy? They tell you to trust God to provide for YOUR needs but they don't do the same!

Tell your pastor to get a second job. Let him get a feel for the REAL world.

Give something to a single mom who cannot afford to fix her brakes. Do it in the Name of Jesus. That would be a good steward. Giving it to these charlatans would be a bad steward!

Bennett Willis said...

"I might gently suggest that Fuller has the freedom to be honest about this because it happened long enough ago that nobody currently in leadership in his church is implicated."

Mike makes a very good point here. It might even be that the whole thing came as a bit of church history that the present staff knew nothing about.

Mr. Fuller is clearly more aware of how to deal with events of this sort than many might be. And it is easier to be wise if you have nothing to be defensive about.

Anonymous said...

Until one realizes that Jesus Christ is the HEAD of HIS church and not some Ordinary Man who is a sinner like the rest of us it is impossible to carry on any valuable discussion. They like the Bible declares, had rather follow a man than the Lord. Hopelss, just hopeless and getting worse and worse.

Anonymous said...

tikatu

Obviously you don't comprehend short sentences very well. My post said nothing about how positive or negative the watchdog is. Only that he is a contradiction. And do not put words in my mouth, my post said NOTHING about a change of heart in the pastor...where in the world did you pull that from???

I believe in a change of heart by anyone...however, the pastor has not had a change of heart. He is still the same man this week that he was last week...thus the reason that I pointed out watchdog has polar opposite views of the pastor on two different blog posts. Yes, the watchdog is a contradiction. NO, I am not.

Bennett Willis said...

We know nothing about Mr. Fuller's heart, but we can see his words. WD writes in response to those words—and occasionally draws conclusions (makes guesses) about “the heart that produced them.” Exactly what Mr. Fuller had in mind when he suggested that the church members not discuss the "discipline" we cannot be sure, but it sounded stereotypically repressive—and produced predictable responses across the blog world. However his present statements are different from those first ones and have produced a reasonably different response from WD. [IMO :)]

Anonymous said...

Obviously you don't comprehend short sentences very well. My post said nothing about how positive or negative the watchdog is. Only that he is a contradiction. And do not put words in my mouth, my post said NOTHING about a change of heart in the pastor...where in the world did you pull that from???

I believe in a change of heart by anyone...however, the pastor has not had a change of heart. He is still the same man this week that he was last week...thus the reason that I pointed out watchdog has polar opposite views of the pastor on two different blog posts. Yes, the watchdog is a contradiction. NO, I am not.

June 8, 2010 8:05 AM

Uh, does this makes sense? WD is a contradiction? How? The current pastor was not at the church when the heresy trial took place for the 15 yr old girl. WD simply wrote about what the current pastor had to say about it.

We do not know if the pastor said something because it became more public or what.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fuller is clearly more aware of how to deal with events of this sort than many might be. And it is easier to be wise if you have nothing to be defensive about.

June 7, 2010 11:39 PM

Would that be a pragmatic wise or a spiritual wise? And why do you think he is more aware of HOW to deal with such events?

Christa Brown said...

"It might even be that the whole thing came as a bit of church history that the present staff knew nothing about."

Church staff... maybe. But let's not forget that it's undisputed that, 13 years ago, Tina stood in front of the congregation and made an apology. I'm told that it was a congregation of about 400. There are almost certainly many people who are still within the congregation who have information about what happened at the time and memories about what Phelps said, what Willis said, and likely much more. Yet, the first response of current pastor Brian Fuller was to send out an email to members of the congregation telling them that they should talk about this "only" to God. That almost certainly was NOT very helpful for the police who are trying to investigate.

It was only AFTER that email was made public by the Associated Press that pastor Fuller then made this sermon with such nice-sounding words. But I still haven't seen where he has expressed any remorse for his own email, and nor has he taken the pro-active step of earnestly beseeching congregants to share any and all information with the police. That's what he should be doing, particularly in light of his own prior words in that email.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that the email was not to avert information away from legal authorities but to encourage the membership to not make this the topic of gossip.

Do we find it easier to think the worst instead of seeking the truth? It seems so.

Ben Patrick

Anonymous said...

"I still haven't seen where he has expressed any remorse for his own email, and nor has he taken the pro-active step of earnestly beseeching congregants to share any and all information with the police. That's what he should be doing, particularly in light of his own prior words in that email."

Have you asked him why he sent what he sent? If so and you found out you were wrong about his heart are you willing to say you are wrong in telling him what he should be doing?

I doubt it. Furthering your cause seems to be the primary concern, not the truth, in all matters.

Ben Patrick

Dr Who said...

They are trained very well.

Just another Baptist covering his rear.

It is amazing what a little consultant can prescribe.

And you of all people Watchdog are falling for this.....

hmmmmm I am surprised

Robert said...

Hi,

My name is Rev Robert Wright, Editor for Christian.com, a social network made specifically for Christians, by Christians. We embarked on this endeavor to offer the entire Christian community an outlet to join together and better spread the good word of Christianity. Christian.com has many great features like Christian TV, prayer requests, finding a church, receiving church updates and advice. We have emailed you to collaborate with you and your blog to help spread the good word of Christianity. I look forward to your response regarding this matter. Thanks!


Rev. Robert Wright
rev.robertwright@gmail.com
www.christian.com

Christa Brown said...

I think that when most ordinary people - probably just about everyone EXCEPT fellow Baptists and church congregants - saw the news of Fuller's email, they saw it for what it was. The Associated Press has some of the best-trained reporters in the country - journalists who literally go out of their way to try to write things as objectively as possible and virtually everything a reporter writes is also reviewed by other higher-ups within the AP system - and the Associated Press reported that Fuller's email contained "two statements advising parishioners to remain silent." That's not just me saying it. That's the Associated Press. If Fuller didn't intend to say what that sounds like, then he needs to publicly clarify it.

Anonymous said...

"Have you asked him why he sent what he sent? If so and you found out you were wrong about his heart are you willing to say you are wrong in telling him what he should be doing?"


How silly. What does his "heart" have to do with it? We cannot look at motives but we can certianly look at actions.

Why would I believe his words? Words are what he does for a living. he is good with words. Like the email. Look to actions. Why send out such an email?

Anonymous said...

Two statements (in context? who knows) reported by the AP say:

"Instead of engaging in talk about this incident, I beg you to pray for all those impacted by this crime," Fuller wrote. "I love you tenderly and am confident you will only talk of these matters to our Lord in prayer."

Gosh, a simple reading of the first statement speaks to the subject of gossip. The pastor nicely worded his statement in stead of saying "DON"T GOSSIP" Not everyone wants to be as mean spirited in their words as others.

Putting the first statement in context with the second would say, take your concerns to the Lord.

To accuse the pastor of telling his congregation to keep silent if the police call is nothing less than a witch hunt.

Yet, you desire to use a secondary source instead of a primary source. I'm not surprised.

Shoot first and ask questions second. That's the way you like it, right?

Ben Patrick

Anonymous said...

"If Fuller didn't intend to say what that sounds like, then he needs to publicly clarify it."

Says who? Why do we have to play the media game and answer any question they ask. I've dealt with the press and been misrepresented. They have an agenda and I don't think it is as lofty as you want to believe it is.

Ben Patrick

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Dr. Who - haven't fallen for anything. I was commenting on Fuller's sermon, which I listened to in its entirity, and was struck by the contrast between his approach and that of the typical baptist pastor facing media scrutiny.

This gives me a glimmer of hope. Not much, but a glimmer. The proof will be in Fuller's church's future actions. We'll be watching and listening.

He very well could have bashed the media for "attacking" his church, and "the man of God" prior to him.

But he didn't and that is a good sign.

But we'll be watching.

I realize my readers won't share my glimmer of hope, and I understand completely. Especially those who have more experience with baptist preachers who say one thing and do another.

Now if Fuller wanted to gain a lot of credibility: call in Christa Brown to be a part of the church investigating committee - she could be an independent party, one with great experience in these matters, could interview the victim, work with the church in making recommendations to prevent this sort of thing from happening again....I would love to see that. But only in our dreams, I suppose.

Dr Who said...

W D;

I know that we all want to believe in a Pastor or Minister. But as had been said many times before, these ARE NOT your grandmothers Preacher.

I almost guarantee you that someone within this "organization" with some pull mentored this Pastor into preaching this sermon.

Heard of this situation way to many times. It is the poor pitiful me approach and make it showtime.

I could just heard something a little different than you. I do not think it was from the heart.

To me it sounded scripted.

And a Dream? you bet.

To bring someone in outside of their establishment aka the Baptist Mafia, in their eyes it be like inviting SATAN himself to intervene in THEIR personal church business.

They have NO,and I mean NO acceptance of those outside of their circle.

We are all wrong in their eyes. Haven't you heard? :)

Us Bad Bloggers

Anonymous said...

Ben, You are naive. He is basically saying, Don't talk about this incident to anyone. He is shrouding it in faux spiritual language so that it would feel like a sin to talk about it.

Why?

IMAGE and control of the message.

Think about it.

Wonder if he has a lawyer advising him. My guess is yes.

Anonymous said...

"To accuse the pastor of telling his congregation to keep silent if the police call is nothing less than a witch hunt."

Ben, he uses the typical pastor language that says stay quiet by inferring they should just pray and not talk to others about it.

I think he wants it quiet because of the guy who raped her and how the church treated him vs how it treated the girl. There are most surely folks there now who were there then. he does not want them talking so he uses milieu control and his position to make it look like sin if they do.

Shame on him. But I am even more sorry you cannot see it.

Anonymous said...

ANON 7:16 & 7:21

I don't believe there is an evil pastor under every rock and that very pastor is trying to hide something or every pastor has to do things the way I would to make them above reproach.

Don't be sorry for me. My head is screwed on straight but even more important my heart is clean before my Lord.

Armchair blogging about what others should do can make one feel good about themselves. That in no way makes them right, though.

You have spoken with this pastor about his evil heart, right? Or is just talking to everyone else about it enough to satisfy your thirst for his blood?

You can continue with this blindsided attack with your buds, you don't have the wit to see the good in anyone who disagrees with you, nor the courage to speak to those directly you accuse.

Ben Patrick

Doug said...

Fuller's e-mail, a copy of which was obtained by the AP from a former parishioner, contains two statements advising parishioners to remain silent.

"Instead of engaging in talk about this incident, I beg you to pray for all those impacted by this crime," Fuller wrote. "I love you tenderly and am confident you will only talk of these matters to our Lord in prayer."

Now you tell me where this is "hope?"

I agree my friend Dr Who, It is all show and scripted.

I too heard the sermon and heard that same ole word IF..If it is proven, IF it is found.

They are still in denial and will never admit anything, because they are afraid of a LAWSUIT.

I know this type of chat well. They get to that edge so you know exactly who and what the conversation is all about, but DO NOT jump.

There was this certain person......

Nice show Brian Fuller, Nice Show. Your sermons sounded so Everson like.........

Empty hooks down here. Get more bait.

Anonymous said...

"You have spoken with this pastor about his evil heart, right? Or is just talking to everyone else about it enough to satisfy your thirst for his blood?"


What good is talking to him about it? He is the PAID professional Christian. This issue is PUBLIC now. The VICIM made it public. I am more concerned about HER, not making the current pastor look good.

Your language is interesting. Wanting truth and justice from paid professional Chrisians is the same as wanting BLOOD. You sound like the Caner defenders. Pure hyperbole.