"...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

Thursday, March 8, 2012

More Ordaining of Political Candidates at SBC Mega Churches

Who would have thought that just six years after the Vines, Lindsay, and Rogers era at FBC Jax and Bellevue Baptist Church that political candidates would be featured as part of the worship services. The pulpits where men simply proclaimed the good news of Jesus Christ are now used by preachers to promote their preferred candidates for political office.

It happened last May with Mac Brunson performing a "laying on of hands" ceremony and pious prayer for mayoral candidate and FBC Jax member Mike Hogan. Then, last Sunday we are treated to Steve Gaines holding a similar ceremony for presidential hopeful Rick Santorum.

Steve Gaines brought up Rick Santorum and his wife to the Bellevue Baptist platform and had two men lay hands on Rick as Steve offered up a most holy and humble prayer. While sappy music played softly in the background, Steve asked for the congregation to "lift your hands up your hands toward these people like you're touching them and you'll be touching them in the spirit."

Then they all sang "Kum-bay-ya".

Of course Brunson and Gaines try to mask their efforts by trying to sound non-partisan. Gaines said multiple times that anybody can come to worship whether they be Republican, Democrat or Independent.

But only conservative Republicans get the laying on of hands by the holy men of Bellevue and FBC Jax.

43 comments:

Jack said...

Did they really sing "Kum-by-yah"? I would have chosen songs like: "I love ya Rick, and I lift my voice..." or the chorus, "...You alone are my strength and shield, to you alone may my spirit yield..." or maybe even "Before the throne of Rick above, I have a strong and..."!

Anonymous said...

Evidently the laying on of hands and prayer is meant to actually accomplish something; otherwise, wouldn't they just have Santorum and wife stand, welcome them, shake their hands, wish them well?

So when you go that extra step of laying on of hands and saying a public prayer, what is the actual result of doing that? What has happened? Is there some kind of power in the hands of these people? Does God favor the candidate somehow because of the prayer and touches from people? I'd sincerely like to know the answers, so I'll understand what people think they are accomplishing when they do these things.

Anonymous said...

I only have one question to ask. How do you people at Bellevue put up with this every Sunday?

Anonymous said...

"But only conservative Republicans get the laying on of hands" Not understand you Watch. Your losing my respect more and more as I come back to this site. Be bold but beware of strawmen.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I don't think that is a strawman argument. What I am saying is that while these two preachers say that they don't take sides, it is double speak. They certainly do take sides by having one candidate not only come up to the platform, but to have them close their eyes and place the hands of ordained men on them while the head cheese says a prayer, that is taking sides. I don't think you will ever see either of these preachers bring up a liberal democrat to the stage and lay hands on them.

Back in the days pre-Brunson at FBC Jax, there was some true objectivity and neutrality when it came to political candidates. Any candidate can come to FBC Jax during political season and be mentioned and politely applauded by the congregation.

But it is a day now where the favorites - or the one they think is God's favorite - is called to the front and hands are layed on him.

Anonymous said...

I echo the question of Anon 7:25. Seriously, people.

Anonymous said...

My question is what is a devout Roman Catholic doing in a Southern Baptist Church participating in what used to be considered a Holiness Church laying on of hands?

Anonymous said...

"I don't think you will ever see either of these preachers bring up a liberal democrat to the stage and lay hands on them."

That is because all these folks pander to the minority communities and there the preachers BLATANTLY support the liberal candidate without fear of retribution from the FEDS because the FEDS look the other way when it comes to the left.

Anonymous said...

Rick Santorum is a Roman Catholic and a Knight of Malta. Why is he in a SBC church? He wouldn't be there at all if he weren't "running for office."

John Wylie said...

Well the only elected officials that show up to our church are the president of the school board and me the vice president. LOL

Having said that, I admit that I am a Republican and I have a natural disdain for all things liberal. But I would like to think that the church somehow rises above politics and should be neutral insofar as political parties are concerned. Given the biblical precept of honoring our leaders, I think the biblical thing to do would be to recognize and honor any elected official regardless of party. I don't know because I've never experienced this, but I think I would just recogniize them from the pulpit and call on someone to pray for them.

New BBC Open Forum said...

My question is what is a devout Roman Catholic doing in a Southern Baptist Church participating in what used to be considered a Holiness Church laying on of hands?

My thought exactly. The meaning to a Catholic is quite different from the way the Baptists/Assembly-of-God-tryin'-to-bes mean it.

Someone left this comment on the Commercial Appeal article:

I hope that whoever teaches church history at MABTS is so shocked that he will bother crossing Appling and lecturing some Bellevue staff on what it means for Baptists to lay hands on a devout Catholic. And if the MABTS faculty isn't shocked, they should be.

Yet another case of evangelicals who are as innocent as lambs and as wise as sheep.

New BBC Open Forum said...

No sooner had the Santorums left the auditorium Steve took a swipe at the Catholics. If they still stream the services on all those flat-screen TVs throughout the building the Santorums probably heard him on their way out.

While I realize Catholics aren't the only ones who have "catechism" classes, in the U.S. that's what you think of. His little chuckle right after he said it indicated to me that he either thought he was being cute or it just slipped out (he surely had "Catholics" on the mind having just prayed over them) and he was embarrassed. Kind of hard to tell if it was his "aren't I funny!" heh heh or his "oops, didn't mean to let that slip" heh heh.

Of course, at Bellevue they have don't have "catechism" classes. Instead they have Step Classes patterned after Rick Warren's S.T.E.P. classes. Prospective members must attend the first of now two of these classes where they're indoctrinated in the ways of Bellevue before they're accepted for church membership. Used to be you could simply transfer your letter from another Baptist church or present yourself for baptism with your profession of faith and you were a member. Now you have to "do things." I've not heard of them forcing people to sign covenants to join the church, at least not yet, but that wouldn't surprise me.

Then having completed "Step 1," new members are "strongly encouraged" to attend the second class where they're given "spiritual gifts" and "temperament" tests. Anyone who's interested can search the archives and comments on the NBBCOF to see some in depth discussions about this New Agey practice.

Thy Peace said...

WD, if God willing, you ever sought a public office and did attend FBC Jax Church Service, and if you were recognized by Mac's posse, the whole "laying of hands" would take another meaning.

FBC Choir Member said...

I fail to see how any reasonable person could support Rick Santorum for President. It's obvious that he's trying to impose on us his vision of a Papist America, especially after his comments about President Kennedy's famous speech about not letting the Pope dictate his policy.

Rick Brentlinger said...

"Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure." 1 Tim 5:22

Laying on of hands signified ordination and the impartation of spiritual gifts.

These pastors are unspiritual con artists and the sheeple who support them financially are as guilty as their leaders.

Anonymous said...

FBC Choir Member you may be on to something about the the catholic connection in the churches. history of catholic church rule go back a long way. That rule has extending to non catholic churches. I believe the mormons are in direct opposition to catholic teachings but can not realise what is closer to the SBC, the mormons faith or catholic faith.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Laying on of hands signified ordination and the impartation of spiritual gifts.

Ding ding ding!!! We have a winner!

Anonymous said...

So what spiritual gift did they impart to Santorum? And is he now ordained as a pastor?

Anonymous said...

A few observations:

1. There is a difference between praying for someone and laying on of hands. When you hold your wife's hand and son's hand for dinner Tom and pray for the meal, if you do that, that would not be considered laying on of hands. This time of prayer is no different, they happen to be touching their shoulders and praying. This was not the biblical laying on of hands.

2. It would be difficult to know if a Democrat would want to be recognized in a conversative, Protestant church. Between the pro-choice platform and the gay marriage platform, I would think most Democrats stay away from outspoken Baptist churches.

3. These S.T.E.P. classes are a great idea. You call it "indoctrination into the way of Bellvue" but what really takes place is an understanding of Baptist beliefs and the vision of the church. And just because someone transfers their letter from another Baptist church in NO way means they have a grasp of theology. Requiring a class to become a member keeps those who only want to sit uninformed and uninvolved off the membership. And believe it or not, Baptists used to require a class or two before being baptized and thus becoming a member of the church.

Just some food for thought.

Todd

Anonymous said...

"Laying on of hands signified ordination and the impartation of spiritual gifts. "

A shallow look would find these things but there are reasons in the bible beyond these two you mention. Genesis 48:12-14 tells another purpose. Jacob did this to bless his grand children. Elsewhere David considered it a blessing to have God's hand upon him. Jesus Himself laid hands on the little children to bless them.

Looking deeper, not just superficial reading to whet our appetite, might help us all find the truth we need not just the one we want.

The editors said...

I like Santorum, but allowing this treatment calls in question his judgment. At least he hasn't spent 20 years under Mac Brunson.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Requiring a class to become a member keeps those who only want to sit uninformed and uninvolved off the membership.

Nice try, but no. If they wanted the "uninformed and uninvolved" off the membership rolls they'd purge the rolls of the 40% of those 28,000 or so names already on the rolls they haven't been able to locate in years or even decades.

Anonymous said...

So Sad....

Bellevue was a great church years ago and it has become a real joke.

Have you ever heard Gaines preach?

Honestly, you will hear better preaching at the Methodist Church than at that Baptist Church....it is horrible!

He needs to lift up his hands and get a real job.

Anonymous said...

Actually BBC Forum, they wouldn't have that problem of 28,000 extra names on the role had they enacted the STEP classes years ago...that's the purpose of a membership class...that those who join know the theology, expectations and purposes of a church.

Todd

Anonymous said...

Why don't you do a blog on all the black churches that openly endorse Democrats and have them in their churches regularly. Of course then you wouldn't be able to paint white Southern Baptist pastors in a bad light.

For those of you who are opposed to new member classes don't even grasp how little understanding of the Christian faith most church members have. Of course some of you think anything they do in Bellevue is bad.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Actually BBC Forum, they wouldn't have that problem of 28,000 extra names on the role had they enacted the STEP classes years ago...that's the purpose of a membership class...that those who join know the theology, expectations and purposes of a church.

Actually, Todd, what I said was about 40% of 28,000, not 28,000 total. Regardless, how does attending a one-hour class keep the rolls from becoming bloated when people move, drop out, or die? Help me here.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Why don't you do a blog on all the black churches that openly endorse Democrats and have them in their churches regularly.

No reason to blog on it. It's covered on the news regularly and nobody seems to think anything about it. Personally I think any church coming this close to endorsing a political candidate of any party should lose their 501(c)(3) status. That goes for black churches, white churches, multi-color churches, and regardless of whether the candidate is Democrat, Republican, or independent.

WishIhadknown said...

“He needs to lift up his hands and get a real job.”

With my right hand raised I’ll give you an AMEN!

WishIhadknown said...

The discussions about the laying on of hands notwithstanding, does anyone else think besides me think it odd that Gingrich is consider in Baptist circles to be an unworthy candidate because he is Roman Catholic but Santorum is not?

Anonymous said...

"Personally I think any church coming this close to endorsing a political candidate of any party should lose their 501(c)(3) status. "

Brother you must live under a rock. HELL would freeze over before a church that blatantly leans left would ever be threatened with losing their status and if they were it would be spun that everyone trying to do that is RACIST!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing people think of Santorum as a dedicated Christian who's all about the social issues. Gingrich is known more for his intellect and isn't synonymous for the social issues. So Santorum seems much more like the average Christian.

Anonymous said...

Santorum is just pandering to the church folks and it is as simple as that. Gains is such a clown for going along with this.I would not cross the street to attend any church he pastors.

Anonymous said...

"Have you ever heard Gaines preach?

Honestly, you will hear better preaching at the Methodist Church than at that Baptist Church....it is horrible!"

What makes preaching good?

Anonymous said...

What makes preaching good?

when people are saved, But perhaps a iPad can do that making the over paid preacher obselete.

Anonymous said...

"What makes preaching good?"

Jesus' preaching was good.

He didn't endorse politicians when he preached.

He didn't constantly preach OT storehouse tithing, and then add to it by saying it must be undesignated.

He didn't embellish actual events to try to make his points.

He didn't break laws to try to intimidate church members.

And he actually lived out what he preached.

Now, that's good preaching!

Anonymous said...

There is a difference in these two scenarios. Mike Hogan is a member of the church while Rick Santorum is not a member of that church. I see a big difference in that little detail which WD fails to point out.

Anonymous said...

"What makes preaching good?

when people are saved, But perhaps a iPad can do that making the over paid preacher obselete."

I have a few problems with this. Many good sermons have been preached with little results. I have family members who were saved through the preaching and ministry of a gifted speaker. he has fallen but the lives of my family members still show Christ's presence upon them. Oh, the preacher then was none other than DG.

"Jesus' preaching was good."

Well there was only one Him. No one compares to Him, in the pulpit or out. Therefor, by your own admission there are no good preachers. We do know there are none good, no not one except Jesus.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Brother you must live under a rock. HELL would freeze over before a church that blatantly leans left would ever be threatened with losing their status and if they were it would be spun that everyone trying to do that is RACIST!!!!!

I don't live under a rock. I agree with you! Note I said any church and a candidate of any party.

Anonymous said...

I have a few problems with this. Many good sermons have been preached with little results.

Agreed, sermons can be preached with little results. A gifted speaker is not needed for salvation. With the creativity of an iPad, Pastor Mac words, it can be a useful tool to inform people about bible truth in many ways. Some thing needs to reach the lost children of our next generation.

Many of the Pastors are too wraped up in things like politics and money to have any real lasting effect on children. Pray that we turn to god for guidence to avoid his judgement.

Anonymous said...

"Well there was only one Him. No one compares to Him, in the pulpit or out."

The reason that Jesus came here was to die for our sins and to show us the correct way to live. Saying that no one measures up to him is a cop out. That excuse won't wash on judgment day.

"Therefor, by your own admission there are no good preachers. We do know there are none good, no not one except Jesus."

Now you are changing the subject. The question was "what makes preaching good?" not "are there any good preachers?"

I gave examples of good preaching from Jesus and now you are trying to turn that around and say that I am saying that there are no good preachers.

Can you say straw man argument?

WishIhadknown said...

"Some thing needs to reach the lost children of our next generation."

It's called the "Word of God".

Anonymous said...

the blind leading the blind...these politicians really think they're holy for helping lead this country down the tubes, don't they?

Anonymous said...

As a member of FBC, I was also there the day we prayed for President Obama after he was elected. Not a republican for sure. I also remember praying for Corrine Brown and our Mayor when they were there (not Republicans). Do we pray for our political candidates, yes. Do we [ry for our govt., yes.Do we prefer conservatives who do not want to destroy Chritianity as much as liberals, I do. Have I ever heard an FBC pastor say vote for him or her from the pulpit, NO. If the pastor touches me during a prayer, is that considered laying on of hands? NO Is this blog written by an Atheist, not sure. Is this blog damaging to all churches big or small, YES. Would God be happy with your purpose, I do not know. Are atheists happy, you bet!!