"...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

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Criticisms of Vance Pitman Offered Up By Tim Rogers

Readers: my apologies. I didn't read Rogers' article close enough. I was too kind. The issue was NOT that Pitman invited TD Jakes, and that TD Jakes might be a modalist. The sin of Pitman was that he invited Jakes' MUSIC MAN to participate in leading of worship. So it is a sin to have Jakes, AND a sin to have Jakes' music man. Is it also a sin to hire TD Jakes' music man's caterer? What if I am driving the same kind of car that TD Jakes music man's caterer is driving?
And it is not that Pitman was seen at a table with a cup that might have wine...it is that one of the speakers Pitman invited was once photographed at a table where there might be wine. What if TD Jakes' music man's caterer was once photographed at a table with wine?
I have made editorial changes below to correct my oversights.
-------------

Stop the presses. We've covered crybaby pastors here on this blog, pastors who can't stand criticism, that complain how criticism from their congregants keeps them from doing God's will. One pastor said he can hardly go on, as he gets a criticism a day, and he correctly did the math and said it is "...over 300 a year."

So I can't help but smile when I read North Carolina pastor Tim Rogers' blog post openly criticizing another conservative SBC pastor, Vance Pitman (shown at left), for his decisions as the president of the 2011 SBC Pastor's Conference.

What did Pitman do to deserve Tim's criticism? Did he harbor a pedophile on staff? Did he cheat on his wife? Did he openly slander a church member? What did he do that has caused Rogers to write a long article criticizing everything from his church's giving to what he drinks for dinner?

Did Pitman lie and mislead congregations for a decade about his past, giving false stories of his childhood to make himself more marketable on the preaching circuit and book market?

You can read Rogers' article yourself, but let me summarize and simplify for those who don't want to bother, what are Tim's gripes with Pitman:

1. Pitman gave an interview to the "wrong" newspaper. Yep, Pitman dared to give an interview to the Associated Baptist Press to address his critics. Pitman has been criticized by a number of pastors, and Pitman did the right thing and actually tried to answer his critics by giving an interview that would be widely reported to Baptists. But according to Rogers it was the "wrong" news outlet. The ABP is a bunch of liberals, or at least started by liberals says Rogers, so Pitman should not have given the interview to THEM. Rogers mockingly strikes the word "news" in front of "agency" when describing the ABP. Seriously, what other profession besides "pastor" features graduate and Ph.D. level, supposed men of intelligence, making these arguments against each other?

2. Pitman is inviting the "wrong" guys to speak at the SBC Pastor's Conference. Pitman invited the music man of T.D. Jakes, who some say is a "modalist". (Not that he invited TD Jakes, but TD Jakes' music man). He invited Jon Piper, a Calvinist. He invited Rick Warren who is something else. The writer of the ABP article brought up the issue of race given that T.D. Jakes is black, and Rogers actually criticizes Pitman because he "let that stand". Nowhere in the article is Pitman quoted on the racial issue, but Rogers decided to hang that around Pitman's neck. That is not fair.

3. Pitman invited a speaker who was seen at a table somewhere with a glass that looks like it might have wine in it. Yes, Rogers links to a picture of some men at a table, one of whom apparently Darrin Patrick, where there are beverages on the table. I've posted it here at right. One of the men is Patrick - a speaker invited by Pitman - and according to Rogers, one of the glasses has wine in it. Could be tea, but it looks too much like wine for safety's sake. Egads, Patrick either consumed an alcoholic beverage that night, or he was at a table where one was consumed. Get the pitchforks.

4. Pitman's church doesn't give enough money to the SBC. It always comes down to money. Pitman's church only gave $61,000 to the SBC missions' fund (the Cooperative Program). Rogers cites the inequity of the $61,000 from Pitman's church and the $148,000 of SBC money going to the Pastor's Conference Pitman is leading. Holy cow, Rogers and his cohorts ELECTED Pitman to lead the conference, and now Rogers' is criticizing the giving of Pitman's church?

I realize some WD readers will agree with some of Rogers' criticisms of Pitman. But even if his open criticism, which I think much of it is unfair and unjust (and even illogical) is valid, why is he hurting the cause of Christ in this way? Rainer said it, this kind of criticism of pastors is "the Great Distraction", it is used by Satan to keep the man of God from doing God's will and is harmful to the cause of Christ. And if Rogers doesn't like his convention, why doesn't he just leave or choose not to attend, instead of criticizing one of it's leaders? Or is he jealous? These are all arguments preachers use against lay people who criticize their pastor.

Here is the unbelievable part of this: Tim Rogers never once spoke out criticizing Ergun Caner last year. He even had Ergun Caner in to preach to his church recently.

So while Tim writes long articles criticizing a pastor who speaks to the wrong news outlet, and invites a pastor to speak who appears in a picture with a glass of wine and whose churches give only $62,000 to missions, Rogers is completely silent, and in fact is openly supportive of...a pastor who misled congregations for nearly a decade with a false story of his past - who still to this day has not apologized to the many Christians he has wronged.

Which is worse: Pitman inviting a man who had a picture taken at a table with wine, or Rogers himself inviting a man to speak at his church who perpetrated a decade of deceit on evangelicals telling tall tales of his past to make himself into something he was not?

That is what we have for leadership in the SBC these days.

33 comments:

Thy Peace said...

Some background posts on Tim Rogers and his comments and posts ...

Wade Burleson > My New Book: Hardball Religion II -- A Sequel

(TimR2 is Tim Rogers)

Baptist Life Forums > SBC News & Trends > Burleson gets threatened...

Baptist Life Forums > SBC News & Trends > Tim Rogers and SBC Today

Wade Burleson > "Praise God No Stones" Are Used for Assassination of Character in Texas or There'd Be No Rocks Around the Baptist General Convention of Texas

Wade Burleson > Christian Lawsuits and Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

Wade Burleson > The Ugly Side of Religious Fundamentalism: The SBC Will Die If Not Delivered from It

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Great work, Thy Peace. This gives a little more context for Rogers' criticisms of Pitman.

Anonymous said...

Pittman never did invite TD Jakes to the SBC Pastor's Conference.

Anonymous said...

Pittman was not the one accused of drinking wine, Darrin Patrick was.

I usually enjoy reading your articles, but it seems you didn't really do your homework on this one.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Ah yes...I see...so the criticism is that he is having Darrin Patrick speak, and Darrin Patrick was seen at a table where there was a glass, and the glass contains something that sort of looks like wine?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

My word, the criticism is more ridiculous than I thought.

He didn't invite TD Jakes.

He has a worship leader from TD Jakes' church coming to lead worship at the conference?

And someone who is speaking at the conference was seen at a table with alcohol???

Thy Peace said...

Posts by Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr. related to Jakes: Lessons from the Animal Kingdom and also here with more comments.

Thy Peace said...

Also Norman Jameson who wrote the post at ABP News ... from SBC Plodder [William Thornton]'s blog:

Lots of people in SBC life ought to be forced to resign...

Notable SBC quotes of 2010

Also ... Baptist Press unleashed...or shorter leash?

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that SBC'ers continue to do what they do best...fight.

But I will say that Pitman was very defensive in his response and basically did nothing to put out the fires. He does need to remember who he is serving and not be so quick to dismiss their concerns. He all but labeled his critics the everso popular "Pharisee" that is used to silence and minimilize criticism by far too many pastors today

And the thing that bothers me most about Pitman's reponse was his illogical reasoning of just because an author's book in for sale at Lifeway that he should be allowed to speak at the conference. But would the SBC want the author of The Shack speaking at any of their conferences?

Lastly, the implication of racism regarding the concerns of TD Jakes staff member are deplorable. Race has nothing to do with the concerns of having someone involved with the Pastor's Conference who holds to the heresy of modalism. I think this was the most warranted concern.

BUT, i find it silly to post a picture of Darrin Patrick drinking wine.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I don't see that he came close to calling his critics Pharisees. But it would be funny to see a pastor call his other pastor-critics Pharisees. Or better yet, call them "haters".

Remember, this isn't about TD Jakes speaking or not speaking, it is about whether TD Jakes' music man can lead worship. If Jakes is teaching a false doctrine of "modalism", does that taint all of the ministers working for Jakes' church and make them all heretics?

I could see if he has a photo of Patrick with a beer bottle chugging down a brewski at a night club...but for heaven's sake, the picture is at a restaurant with friends, and there are a few glasses that MIGHT be filled with wine, and Patrick is NOT drinking in the picture.

Anonymous said...

I agree the Patrick picture is comical. Furthermore, it is inaccurate for Tim Rogers to say that all Southern Baptists hold to abstaining. Even if we were to give them that Patrick is drinking wine, what does that prove or better yet disqualify him from speaking.

Let me ask you this. Would you go to TD Jakes church? Would you accept a staff position at his church? I think it is a valid concern about TD Jakes' position on the Trinity. Are those that work on TD Jakes all heretics? Though I dont believe to extreme separation as esposed by some today, I do hold that we are to separate from pastors that hold to heretical views of the Trinity. And therefore the SBC leaders should be wary of inviting any of TD Jake's staff to participate in an SBC event.

Anonymous said...

Go to the post Thy Peace links to: Lessons from the Animal Kingdom over at SBC Voices and read the comments.

There are a few favorite labels being thrown around all over the place by mainly the reformed guys. One is: Modalist and the other is "Open Theism".

Anyone not like them is accused of one or the other. They even claim that those who believe in "Free Will" are hurtling toward "open Theism" according to another post by Jared Moore on 20 things about Arminians.

TD Jakes made the big mistake of explaining the Trinity saying the word: Manifestations instead of "three persons". That makes him a modalist. Of course, I think Jakes is a typical charlatan but I would not call him a modalist.

Beware what you believe just because someone who went to seminary told you.

Tim Rogers shows his hypocrisy when he rabidly defended Caner, the pathological liar who made a profit from his lies to believers.

Anonymous said...

"Let me ask you this. Would you go to TD Jakes church? Would you accept a staff position at his church? I think it is a valid concern about TD Jakes' position on the Trinity."

This has been accused of Jakes for years. If someone can produce something of Jake's denying the Trinity, please do it. So far, and I have read about this for a long time on blogs, no one has produced anything that is conclusive.

Of course, Jakes is your typical bloated mega church pastor. A lot like Brunson and Gaines. That is reason enough not to attend his church.

Anonymous said...

I read the other blog where these references were made about Pittman. It only further confirmed how far out in Legalism Land the SBC has moved.

So now we aren't allowed to even sit at a table with someone who is having wine? Why not just nail the door shut and say SBCers can't even eat at restaurants who serve alcohol.

See you at the cafeteria.

Bojac said...

It seems we are just disregarding the Bible teachings of doing to others expecting equal treatment. The world we now live in is so interesting because of blogging. I must admit even though I have paastored for many yrs. I am learning things that are so surprising to me. In our asso. meetings and such we knew of a few secretive things. We have been hesitant to reveal things because perhaps we felt instead of being the revealer we would be the revealed. Now things done in secret are shouted not from the housetop but on the internet. Perhaps it will make us live an open life one where Jesus can be seen in us. At least i hope so.snerstr

Anonymous said...

"So now we aren't allowed to even sit at a table with someone who is having wine? Why not just nail the door shut and say SBCers can't even eat at restaurants who serve alcohol."

My brother is an elder at a large mega church. A few years ago, we met a long lost cousin at a resturant for dinner. The cousin ordered wine, we did not.

Later, some people complained to the church that this elder was drinking wine in a restuarant. Instead of asking my brother about the circumstances.

The rumor mill got so big, he went before the church to explain the situation and ask them: Should I forgo building a relationship with this long lost cousin because he ordered wine for dinner when meeting me? Should I have left the dinner because of the wine?

Note how people are very concerned with outward appearances over very silly things but give Caner, the liar who profited off them, a total pass...even defending his lies.

Can you say "strain at gnats and swallow camels"?

Anonymous said...

There's a devil under every rock.

Sometimes I think this makes the mega church legalists happier than being saved.

Anonymous said...

Rogers and Lumpkins will not allow questioning of Caner on their blogs, yet they pick apart some of the most absurd things to take issue with.

Anonymous said...

Can someone give a link to Roger's post with the Patrick picture?

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anon 8:50,

The photo is on the front page of this blog (in this article) and the link to Rogers' article is also there.

Now, did anyone read the comments on Rogers' article? I don't know who Katie is, but I like her style!

Katie says:
March 24, 2011 at 10:19 AM

"One can see in this picture that Brother Patrick freely imbibes by enjoying a glass of wine with his meal."

Really? What powers of observation. Call out the CSI team and get to the bottom of what is in that glass. I see no such thing. It appears that there might be a glass of wine on the table yet I've seen no evidence that it is wine at all. So what if it is? There is not a single scripture that prohibits drinking wine.

I find this disingenuous at best. I didn't hear any of you calling out Ergun Caner for a decade of lies, or his sexual jokes in front of our military. You've called upon Christians to show some grace towards Caner, and then you turn around and try to get people fired from their jobs over minor disagreements to include the tithe, alcohol, who they give interviews to and a never ending list of guilt by secondary associations.

Is it any wonder that people who are discouraged by this constant assault, turn to the likes of Rob Bell when they find this brand of Christian faith to be mean spirited?

I have this picture in my mind of you folks dragging Pitman, et al, before Jesus and naming his multitude of sins expecting Jesus to throw the first stone.

If the SBC becomes a relic, it won't be because people have lost their faith in Jesus Christ, it will be because people such as yourselves are seen as petty, hyper-critical and just plain sowers of discord.

Tim Rogers says:
March 24, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Sister Katie,

If the SBC becomes a relic, it won't be because people have lost their faith in Jesus Christ, it will be because people such as yourselves are seen as petty, hyper-critical and just plain sowers of discord.

I am sorry you feel that way. You may desire to call me a "sower of discord" all you want, but that does not negate the fact that we have a person who has said he does not imbibe sitting at a table for a photo where he is drinking. All of your questions concerning CSI and your implications that I prove that is wine in his glass are hollow words. Why? One can plainly see the others around the table drinking beverages that are available to all ages do not have empty glasses sitting before them. Why? Because it is customary in resturants to remove the wine glasses from those who are not drinking. Why? That way the staff will not serve wine to someone that has not paid for it.

As for Dr. Caner and your remarks, it would be best for you to take that argument elsewhere. That is a dead horse and there is no reason to keep beating that horse. Besides I just enjoyed an wonderful conversation and where do you think he was headed? To teach class at Liberty. So, if you want to accuse anyone of a cover-up you probably need to start in Virginia.

Blessings,
Tim

continued below...

New BBC Open Forum said...

continued...

Katie says:
March 24, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Really Tim? There are at least THREE 'wine glasses' visible on that table. You have no idea what is in them., let alone what might have been in them. It's conjecture on your part. So what is the motive?

On the other hand, you are right, this isn't about Ergun Caner. It's about looking past the grievous sins of one completely unrepentant man, while looking for trouble in another.

Why is it necessary for the leaders of the church to pick apart each other for no other reason than to cause more division? Why send e-mails to Seminary Presidents suggesting that a staff member isn't exactly on track with the party line?

The church is showing itself to be dishonest, sneaky, duplicitous and downright hypocritical.

If you folks want to pick each other part over things that aren't even essential, then don't come griping to us when we stop giving to ministries, let alone accepting your view of scripture. From my point of view, the public has sized us up quite accurately

Is this really the message we want to send to the unbelieving world? We're in trouble Tim. Real trouble, Which of the unbelievers will accept the gospel message given by people who haven't demonstrated an iota of charity, love , honesty or accountability?

Scripture says it best. "He, who troubles his own house, shall inherit the wind and a fool shall be a servant to the wise of heart."


I'm shocked Rogers published those comments.

Is anyone else annoyed to death with the constant "Brother So-and-so," "Sister So-and-so," and the ubiquitous "Blessings"? Knock it off, guys! It doesn't make you sound more holy. It makes you sound like 18th-century Quakers.

With that, I am...

Done

New BBC Open Forum said...

I wonder how many SBs actually boycotted Disney when the SBC passed that resolution.

Katie said...

My goodness... I come here to see what's cookin' and find my comments transferred here. It's perfectly okay with me.

Thanks for the 'style' comments, but honestly, it was a mini-melt-down.

I simply cannot grasp how these people can actually look past the mountain of evidence regarding Ergun Caner, but then rely on innuendo and supposition to condemn another. Where is the consistency? For that matter, where is their fundamental sense of right and wrong?

I suppose I should hide under a blanket so Craig Dalessio doesn't come after me to break my legs.

Anonymous said...

Being a non-drinker is not a requirement for salvation.

Apparently it is one for being a Southern Baptist.

Pure minutia in light of eternity.

Anonymous said...

Katie, with regard to your "Brother so-in so, Sister so-in so comments...don't forget the reference to ones leader as simply "pastor" (my personal favorite) These guys have been in the system so long, they don't realize how silly they sound when they use "church Speak" It's amusing to say the least.

Katie said...

Anon 9:27. I didn't make the Sister or Brother comments. BBC Open Forum did. He was commenting on Roger's use of the words towards me.

I don't really have a problem with using language associated with a Christian family and in a family setting. In this case, I think Rodgers was being 'unctious' and maybe even condescending. I'm not sure, I can't read his mind. But in Tim's case, I don't want to read his mind because it appears to be double-minded.

Anonymous said...

What's the big deal with the glasses?


"And someone who is speaking at the conference was seen at a table with alcohol??? "


Wine is only about 13% alcohol by weight...
that's only about a Tithe and an Offering.....

Anonymous said...

I would like to see someone do a review of Lumpkin's Alcohol book. There is very little Bible in it and it does not do justice to the full scope of Scripture. If someone knows of a good review could you please post it?

RCM16 said...

WD - Thanks for what you and others such as W'burg Press on their side of things (think CRPC and other situations) for having the courage to ask the hard questions to these, so called, SBC leaders and others (WP on their side)and to dare to expose the rampant hyper-autoritarianism and hyporcisy that is taking place in these churches and it's not limited to the megas either - I've been in the mega and mid-size and it exists everywhere.

I was raised in an SBC church and for many years now I've been seeing all this junk and never knew how to respond and most certainly you didn't go to "the pastor" and query him on it lest you be brought up before the church body as a heritic or worse.

I also have the fourtune..... well misfourtune of being a traditional musician - organist (speaking of four letter words.... organist/organ is just about the equivilant in SBC churches these days) - and having played in churches for about 22 years now I can tell you it's as bad and worse even than what you write about here. In my last paid position I was in a smaller church (my home church actually - bad mistake to "go back home") and being a paid staff I was subject to the periodic employee reviews and privy to info that most organists are not and let me tell you it ain't pretty and would take a lot more time than we have here to tell the stories. I played 7 1/2 years and couldn't handle it anymore with the contemporary onslaught and a host of other issues.

On the Transitioning Existing/Older Churches - got that first hand being on the short end of a music guy given full reign by the pastor to interview all the choir memebers and others in the music dept of this particular church (my 13 year assistant stint before going "back home" for 7 1/2) and find the ones "on board with the vision" and also to find the bad ones, like me, who did buy into "the vision" and make sure we were minimized and better still, shall we say, encouraged to leave. Now I did settle my personal issues with that person and we agreed to disagree on music issues and I consider him a friend but the damage was/has been done but I've been able to work through it but even now, on occasion, it's a frustration because it should not have happend to begin with.

Needless to say I'm pretty well finshed with the SBC and it would not bother me one iota if I ever walked in the door of another SBC church! I'll have more later but you and others have hit the nail on the head and these guys hiding behind all this are not taking social media and blogs very well - to much exposure and attention.

I'm no perfect person by the way and I have and have had my host of issues, problems, mistakes, bad decisions - public and private - but this junk going on behind the scenes at these churches is hideous and dangerous. There was a time when I thought this was the way it ought to be now I say this ought not be this way - there is no question that the SBC has lost its way and no signs that it's going to find its way back anytime soon.

Thanks again for your work.

RCM16 said...

WD - sorry that I got on a rant that was not really related to the subject of the post..... move it to a more appropriate area if you need too. On this post regarding the Tim Rogers article - you're spot on..... he's trying to make something where nothing exists just to get to the general point. Katie was spot on as well in here acessment of the situation.

On the alcohol issue - it's not an issue. I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner from time to time and a mixed drink from time to time. Do not drink to get drunk - have no desire to be drunk but the occasional wine or mixed drink is hardly an issue..... and yes I had the occasional wine or mixed drink while I was an active organist.

Bottom line is this is not nearly the issue that it's made out to be and folks need to get past this holier than thou attitude on this and a host of other non-essential issues!

RCM16 said...

A correction on my first response (the long one) - the other site mentioned is Wartburg Watch not Wartburg Press.... I abrevatied it as W'burg Press and WP. Sorry on that - apologies.

Wartburg Watch is doing an equally great job with regard to the PCA issues such as the CRPC situation.

Again, sorry on misstating the blog name.

Anonymous said...

Tim Rogers wrote:

"As for Dr. Caner and your remarks, it would be best for you to take that argument elsewhere. That is a dead horse and there is no reason to keep beating that horse. Besides I just enjoyed an wonderful conversation and where do you think he was headed? To teach class at Liberty. So, if you want to accuse anyone of a cover-up you probably need to start in Virginia."

Oh dear. Anyone else see all the "deflecting" in that comment? Sounds positively Clintonesque.

The last part really is something since Liberty IS part of the problem and the coverup.

Kind of makes Rogers' attacks on the wine glasses on tables seem quite illogical since Rev teaches us that LIARS will go to hell.

This is what passes for SBC pastoring today.

deac427 said...

Are we really spending kingdom time on this issue??? Please say it is not so??? We are arguing over some thing that we ourselves most times claim we do not fully understand nor can we explain it to others?? Seriously?? Does the music of this man draw believers and unbelievers closer to God, through Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit? If so, he is doing what Gos has called him to do. If he does not then that is a different concern. Vance Pitman does not need to spend time defending himself and his choices to you, that is between God and Vance. So why don't we spend our time wisely by winning souls to the Lord! When I stand before the Lord my God, I do not want to stand there and say "Oh but Lord I may not have won many souls to your side, but darn if I did not set those evildoers in their place!". Are you kidding? Nope. "good and faithful servant" is what I am looking forward to hearing. Shouldn't we all??