"As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell on the floor dead. God killed him....Every time a Christian refuses to tithe, they're just like Ananias and Sapphira. They're lying to God and they're stealing from God. If God treated us this morning in this room like He treated them in that day, how many people would be wrapped up in blankets and taken out the back door [dead]. Think about it. Think about it." Steve Gaines shamelessly misusing scripture to scare the sheep at Bellevue Baptist.How low does a "man of God" have to stoop to misuse his own holy scriptures to threaten his congregation with death if they don't tithe 10% of their income to his church each week? How spiritually blind must a preacher be to suggest that non-tithers might be killed by God for their stealing from and lying to God?
Last month Steve Gaines completely took the story of God killing Ananias and Sapphira out of context in Acts 5 and dared to tell his congregation that those who don't fork over 10% of their income to his church "are just like Ananias and Sapphira". He then poses the question of "how many people would be wrapped up in blankets and taken out the back door" if God dealt with his own sheep the same way that God dealt with Ananias and Sapphira.
The sick part of this is I really think really Steve is engaging in wishful thinking....he HOPES that God would strike at least a few non-tithers dead, as this might help prompt non-tithing recalcitrants to start forking over the prescribed 10%. In Gaines' view, if you don't tithe you're darned lucky God doesn't just strike you dead in the pew.
A couple of things that we as Christians must learn about these supposed holy men seminarians like Steve Gaines who again has misused scripture to get at our pocketbooks through guilt and fear and intimidation:
- this is a sign of desperation. Gaines is determined to use whatever means necessary to get his own sheep to fork over 1/10 of their income to his church. He every few months has accused them of being thieves, bankrobbers, and dealing in stolen goods. He has said God will make the children sick of those who don't tithe. He has even said soloists who don't tithe should not be singing in church.
- I believe Gaines knows full well what he is saying is a total fabrication and stretch of scripture. He is a Ph.D. graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. No credible theologian teaches that there is a connection between the Old Testament tithe and the story of Acts 5. To extrapolate that occurrence to the modern church, and to connect Ananias' and Sapphira's death to believers today who don't practice the law of tithing, is spiritual abuse perpetrated by Steve Gaines on the believers at Bellevue Baptist Church.
- Not only does the story of Ananias and Sapphira have nothing to do with tithing, but in 2000 years of church history there is no evidence to suggest that God still deals with his church in such a swift and drastic manner as killing people for their sin in church. Most scholars interpret this story as a warning against hypocrites in the church who deceive people with phony piety, who present themselves to the church as being super-spiritual to gain the favor and applause of men. Hmmm, so who REALLY might be subject to God's judgment in like manner as Ananias and Sapphira - non tithers or deceptive preachers?
- one of the most disturbing parts of Gaines' statements on this passage is when he says that he believes that Ananias and Sapphira were true believers! Of course! This is Gaines' way of again connecting their sin and death to his congregants. Even though you're under the blood of Jesus Christ, if you don't give 10% to your church, God might just strike you dead. This is how these first-fruits tithing preachers view the people who don't tithe: you are robbing God, you're not as devoted to God as they are, and you're worthy of a death sentence by God for your sin of not forking over 10% to their church.
- Steve Gaines should immediately apologize to his congregation. Other Christian leaders who watch this video should contact Gaines and ask him to publicly retract his remarks and apologize to believers everywhere. He won't do it, as these "holy men" will not publicly apologize. But at least his fellow seminarians should call him out for his abuse of scripture.
Steve Gaines' abuse of scripture, his attempts at painting himself as the pious tither and deceiving his congregants about what this scripture means, makes him more like Ananias and Sapphire than anyone else in his entire congregation. As he jabs his index finger at his congregation, three stubby fingers are pointing right back at him.
Repent, Steve Gaines, of your bible twisting and deception. Stop spiritually abusing the sheep at Bellevue Baptist Church over the Old Testament tithe. Trust God to move in the hearts of people to give generously, and stop the not-so-veiled threats of death and destruction directed toward God's people.
And Steve Gaines is 100% wrong. I would reject this teaching as false and contrary to what Christ did for us on the Cross.
Anyone have a Vimeo of this? If we could find one, it should be kept for posterity to show new students at seminaries what NOT to do.
Once again a shameful misrepresentation of the gospel. What was it Paul said? Oh yes, I remember: If any man teaches another gospel let him be accursed".
It is only a matter of time when preachers will start tasering and pepper spraying non-tithers. Police in this country do this with relish even on innocent passersby. Way to go Steve Gaines. It is all Gain[e]s for you.
The only thing worse than Gaines' obsession with tithing is this blog's obsession with Steve Gaines. Why don't you get a life and move on to something more constructive and interesting.
Thy Peace - I had the same thought. They've tried it all: threaten calamity from God. Try to get the checking account numbers for auto withdraw. Threaten them with death at the hands of God. The only thing left is to bring the calamity and death FOR God, in the name of Jesus.
Dr.Dog this again is a shameless manipulation of inspired truth for sordid gain. Just as I have given the Biblical warning over and over that "Deceivers will grow worse and worse,deceiving and being deceived"[2Tim.3:13].
Dr.Dog there is no way in hades that this seminary trained charlatan is ignorant to what he is doing,saying and teaching.
What he is ignorant of,is the judgment he faces for purposefully mis-handling the Word of God and oppressing the sheep which God purchase with His own Blood[Acts 20:28]!!!
"Woe to this man who steals widows house,and for a pretense,make long prayers.You shall receive the great condemnation"!
Except for the small number who take all this seriously, I'd bet most in the congregation let it go in one ear and out the other. It's not bothering them to hear this stuff or they wouldn't sit and listen to it every Sunday. What power does this preacher have? He's not with the government, so he can't do anything to you if you never give another penny to his church!
He knows very well that God is not gonna strike anybody dead. But he's hoping that his sermons will make you worry. Then if something bad happens to you, you'll maybe link it up in your mind with what he said to you.
So he does have some power of suggestion that some people are susceptible to. Pity those people. They are the true victims. Those who take seriously what some preacher says have always been the main victims. They should try tuning it out like most everybody else does.
Why do you people at Bellevue continue to put up with this guy? Why do you continue to pay this guy to put you down all the time? Why?
Gaines has become a bad trumpeteer playing the same awful song over and over.
I cannot begin to understand how there are any members left there.
"move on to something more constructive and interesting."
Yeah, hypocrisy and bad doctrine are boring. Why don't you just ignore it like Christ did with the Pharisees.
Weren't A & S struck down for LYING? It wasn't for not tithing.
Seems the greater spiritual lesson is about not being truthful. Church members aren't the only ones who should take note ...
No, no one should take note. God isn't striking people dead in churches.
But if anyone SHOULD, it would be deceptive pastors. The A & S situation would be more applicable there than to Christians who give sacrificially but don't meet Gaines' standard.
I can't believe this. I wonder if he gives 10% of his salary back to the church or if he just doesn't bother because he figures it will come back to him anyway? And if he doesn't I wonder if he gives 10% of his salary to any other mission or ministry?
It makes me wonder if these churches that are so concerned with tithing actually have a public budget meeting where anyone can come to approve the yearly budgets? The church I go to still has a yearly budget meeting where the entire congregation is encouraged to come see where the money went last year and see where they would like it to go this year and to give input and ask questions.
Gaines and his ilk are starting to scare me all right - but not for the A & S reason he cites.
When I started working in Philadelphia, a city which has a wage tax of around 5%. The wages one negotiates working in a city are always around 5% more than what they are in the suburbs that do not have a wage tax.
My gut feeling is for all the preachers, their compensation is fixed around 10% more than what they normally get to accommodate the Tithe Tax of 10%.
So, are the preachers truly giving sacrificially then?
If tithing is done in fear, then it goes AGAINST scripture in cheerful giving. This is exactly why my co-blogger is writing about tithing....to show what scripture says about it, or more importantly what it doesn't say about it. How can we minister to the needs around us when are busy paying huge light bills, staff salaries, (church) mortgages, new parking lots and etc, etc, etc.
You make a good point and that may very be true in the large mega-churches. However, the overwhelming majority of Baptist churches are small rural or suburban churches with a hundred or so members in attendance. Many of these pastors are bi-vocational and almost all are underpaid for what they do. Yet, they are faithful in their tithes and offerings. As we debate the virtues of Bellvue and churches like it, we should keep in mind that they are the exception, not the norm when it comes to Baptist churches.
There's one simple answer to get this kind of preaching to stop.
Hard to feel for anyone who would subject themselves to this kind of beating week after week.
Abraham demonstrated it
– “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. Gen. 4:18-20
Jacob continued it
– “And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” Gen. 28:22
Moses confirmed it -
“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S. It is holy to the LORD. If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD. He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.’ ” Lev. 27:30-33
Malachi commanded it -
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house… ” Mal. 3:10
Christ commended it -
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others (Tithing) undone.” Matt. 23:23
Believers profit by it -
“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes (as a result of tithing), So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the LORD of hosts. Mal. 3:11
God’s work is advanced by it - “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside (Tithing), storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.” 1Cor. 16:2
God’s people are blessed by it – “try Me now in this (Tithing),” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.” Mal. 3:10
You will not allow this on your Blog because it blows up your argument against tithing.
The Word speaks for itself.
You will be judged by God for leading His sheep astray.
That's why Ph.D. stands for Piled High and Deep.
It's rubbish exegesis.
Baptists are the modern-day Pharisees. However, they reject 99.9999% of the law and insist the one part that brings them the financial wealth they desire is still valid.
How do these wolves sleep at night...Oh yeah, because they don't have a concience.
Off The Cuff said...
"You make a good point and that may very be true in the large mega-churches. However, the overwhelming majority of Baptist churches are small rural or suburban churches with a hundred or so members in attendance."
Oh' don't kid yourself, this goes on there also. Steve Gaines ( & his fellow mega's) have preached at many of these churches also.
Steve Gaines Preaching in Mississippi
(Steve gets really going about 52 minutes in)
These megas put their hirelings at the helm (this pastor was an employee of Steve Gaines Church in Memphis)
and bash the sheeples in this small church:
Is Church Discipline for Today?
Leave it up to at least one anonymous person to defend the tithe debate. And surprise, surprise, they ripped scripture out of context...
Are you Creflo Dollar? ;)
Watchdog said; "No, no one should take note. God isn't striking people dead in churches. "
Actually Watchdog, we don't really know for sure that God isn't doing that.
But back to the N.T. example, there's no suggestion that God strikes you dead for not tithing/giving per se. But if you CLAIM to be tithing/giving and you are not, that might put a different feel to it.
[Note: God has never consulted me about whose death He might be considering.]
Jimmy - I don't hear anyone discussing how God might strike down a preacher who lies about being a righteous man of God when they are molesting boys and girls. I don't hear anyone talking about how God might strike dead a preacher who over and over again has sex with women in their church who come for spiritual counseling.
Oooh, but lie about your giving, God might be striking you dead.
But you are on to something here, Jimmy. Someone who claims to be tithing but is not, might be struck dead, right?
How about those who brag about tithing, when they are giving 10%, but actually the tithe is 23 1/3%? That would be lying.
So really the warning would be on guys like Gaines who openly brag of giving 10%, saying "I tithe", when they are really not even close to "tithing".
But God isn't striking them dead either....
This was the first Christian and only assembly at the time. Ananias and Sapphira were simplying not acting in faith and testing the Spirit. Also, it was not about giving it to the elders. It was about giving them to supply to those who were in need. No church building existed at the time. In thinking about Patrick's manner this week of reaching the Druids of Ireland. He was the one who actually paid money to a king of theirs in hopes for an opportunity to evangelize others. Sadly his day has become instead a day for the opportunity to drink.
I am still stunned at this sermon. Tangled in legalism all over...I was watching Patterson's sermon on this subject the other night. These guys are tangled in legalism all over again cofusing covanents and really not understanding anything. It is a shame.
G. Casey said...
"These guys are tangled in legalism all over again confusing covenants and really not understanding anything."
Their not confused, they know exactly what they are doing. They are taking over the Southern Baptist Convention and becoming the next Papal religion.
Remember, you don't question the the Holy Seer.
Now I am really stunned. I was unaware that he replaced Adrian Rogers. Adrian placed a strong emphasis on grace first. I was noticing his resume. I don't mean to say all who have done this have this problem but I have noticed that those who started out in youth ministers and then were "moved up" as elders, run the risk of all sorts of doctrinal and administrative problems and misunderstandings. If you have ever studied medevial Catholicism, many archbishops which Luther was critical about were often very young.
These megas need to find a better way to shepard there sheep. This is not the wat to encourage the sophisticated american. The megas are living in the middle ages and believe you are stupid. I want a healthy viberant reliable church but the mind control is out of control for that to exist.
I believe all megas should examine the seperation of church and state and get out of the cesspit. Out future generation must have this. Third and ten.
The comments where someone asks, "Why do people put up with this abuse?" bring up a good subject-why do people go to church, and what things can the preacher say that those people will tolerate, and what things can he say that will get him in trouble?
If most in the pews don't tithe, but they sit there and tolerate getting harangued about it, why is that? I'd say they don't take the pastor seriously-it's just "preaching." People go to church for many reasons. They may not buy into half the stuff he says, yet they keep coming back every Sunday. So I guess that means that what he says is not that important, at least on some subjects. In other words, tithing vs. not tithing is not a big issue with most in the pews.
On the other hand, these pastors who preach tithing MUST think it is effective for getting more money coming in or they wouldn't keep using that strategy??
I was reading another blog where a guy told about arguing with his mother about why she believes in and still attends her Catholic church after the child abuse scandals. It highlighted, to me, this whole subject of why people keep going to any church in spite of...whatever.
I think many people would be more likely to leave their church over some run-in with others in the congregation or the leadership. I don't think doctrine differences, Bible interpretation differences, etc. are that important to most people. They are to some, sure. But if you have friends and family that you go to church with-if you are very connected to those people-you will put up with a lot of stuff from the sermons. The sermons are not the most important thing to you.
I'm wondering if the relationships and/or the feeling of a God connection or sacred feeling or dignity feeling is really what keeps people attending church. I think if people examined themselves, they might find that it's those things that matter the most. They aren't gonna sacrifice for doctrine, but they will sacrifice for their fellow human beings.
People keep going because they need to keep up appearances.
To twist the Woody Allen phrase, 80% of being a Baptist is showing up.
"You will not allow this on your Blog because it blows up your argument against tithing."
Your accuracy rating is 100%.
100% wrong - every single time.
The surest way to know that you are right on any subject is to go in the opposite direction of the TROLL.
The TROLL is the George Castanza of FBCJAX.
"You will not allow this on your Blog because it blows up your argument against tithing."
And by the way your pretexts are hundreds of years old and have been all refuted hundreds of years ago.
On the other hand, you still can't answer why they paid 23 1/3% in tithes in the OT and the NT requirement has been changed to 10%.
Also why they paid in food in the OT and the NT requirement is money.
Also why the poor were given the tithe in the OT and they are required to pay it in the NT.
What are your scripture references for all these changes?
"Why do people put up with this abuse?"
That's because they believe in Flogging, yes like in the Middle Ages , Flagellants
They feel so bad about their bad deeds and thoughts that they subject themselves to the weekly Flogging of the Preachers.
And you thought we were educated?
I think the bigger issue here is not only the misuse of the Scripture, but an attack on the gospel. That Gaines is implying is that we are saved by grace, but we are sanctified by our own works, and we please God by our own works. This comes out of an Arminian line of thinking, that Jesus gets us saved and we need to do the rest, by tithing or whatever other works a pastor may grab on to.
No, we are saved by grace and sanctified by grace. We have the righteousness of Christ on us, so God is pleased with us whether we tithe or not. He is not pleased with us because of anything we do, but because of the righteousness of His Son. In view of that, we give what we are to set aside in our hearts, in other words, as the LORD leads us to give.
This is what Gaines needs to be preaching.
I haven't read the whole entry yet, but to read that actual quote (and I will check out the video)... but oh my [insert swearing]. Really???
Of course, money needs to be donated and tithed to further God's kingdom, but to "guilt" people into doing so under being an Anaias or Sapphira?
There goes the credibility of the verse about being a cheerful giver.
Watchdog said; "But God isn't striking them dead either...."
Actually watchdog, we still don't know that.
"Actually watchdog, we still don't know that."
So, what preachers have been struck dead for sinning recently?
Your reasoning is silly and illogical.
This is your line of logic:
Actually Seneca, you still can't prove that there isn't a Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny.
Does anyone else see the striking similarities between tithing and Roman Catholic indulgences?
A Protestant version of "holy trade". Instead of a pardon of sins (although some claim that tithing is the only way to remove some curses) it is now used as a means of 'obedience' to God.
Look at Pope Leo X. He needed a very large sum of money to finish the construction of St. Peter's Church in Rome. Because of this, he sent Johann Tetzel out to collect funds by providing indulgences. "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs" Tetzel would say. He would even go as far as to speak as if he were the dead relatives of the people being preached to, begging for them to buy their way out of the suffering of purgatory. Tetzel made a fortune for the Roman Catholic church, and for himself.
Move forward to present day... Robert Morris says in order for us to "remove the curse from our finances" we must tithe the VERY FIRST 10% of our paychecks.
Perry Noble claims that in order to get closer/deeper with God, we need to first look at our tithe records, and that Jesus hid secret tithing messages in His words.
Just as Martin Luther noted that there were church leaders who were openly abusing their positions by making wild and uscriptural promises concerning indulgences, we also point out that tithing was an Old Testament LAW, which when read in context revealed that it was in essance an income tax that was to be paid to the Levites. Not just the priests, but to ALL the Levites. And on top of it, money was the least of the tithe. It was the wine, and other crops that are mentioned.
The people are being sold unscriptural promises, and the church is making a bundle exploiting the ignorance of the common people.
EVERY verse on Tithing as a New Testament and current christian practice is taken out of context.
Just as Luther proclaimed at the Diet of Worms in 1521, that he would not reverse his beliefs in the face of opposition, stating that unless someone could refute him from the Bible, he would continue to stand on his beliefs, we too stand firm on this mondern day version of Indulgences known as tithing. Unless you can show us from the Bible IN CONTEXT where tithing is to be practiced, we will continue to profess that through the Law, we are dead in our sins, but in Christ we live by His perfect sacrifice for us on the cross.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
Steve Gaines needs to be careful that God does not call him into account for Spiritual pride and arrogance!
Once this so-called "man-o-god" gives all the proceeds from his land sales and business deals to the church, as well as his salary, to be divvied up as the flock sees fit - then he can tell others to give him the fruits of their labors. Wait, he hasn't done that?
What do you call a guy like that?
Rev 22:18-19 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
“And he gave him a tithe of all. Gen. (1)4:18-20”
Classic, stop the scripture where it’s convenient to prove a point that’s not there. The “all” is the plunder Abraham won which did not belong to him anyway and in the end he did not keep any of it “so that you will never be able to say, 'I made Abram rich.'”
“Jacob continued it
– “And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” Gen. 28:22”
There is no record of Jacob actually doing this only his good intentions.
“Moses confirmed it -
“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S. It is holy to the LORD. If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD. He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.’ ” Lev. 27:30-33”
Let’s discuss this while we have a shrimp salad and a bar-b-q sandwich, shall we?
“Malachi commanded it -
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house… ” Mal. 3:10”
I am still asking and looking for how the church is the same as the storehouse. I have not received in answer in more than five years of asking.
“Christ commended it -
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others (Tithing) undone.” Matt. 23:23“
Dude, really, the only thing you came away with after reading that passage is that the church should tithe? Wouldn’t we expect scribes and Pharisees living under the law to tithe?
(At blogger limit continued below)
“God’s work is advanced by it - “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside (Tithing), storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.” 1Cor. 16:2”
Your addition to scripture speaks for itself.
“God’s people are blessed by it – “try Me now in this (Tithing),” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.” Mal. 3:10”
Refer to comment above regarding tithes and offerings. 10% is not nearly enough.
“You will not allow this on your Blog because it blows up your argument against tithing.”
Of course Dog allows your comment. Dog allows open discussion can the same be said about the church you attend?
“The Word speaks for itself.”
Yes it does.
“You will be judged by God for leading His sheep astray.”
Your words not mine. Personally I prefer, “Psa 103:8-12 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
They were struck down because they LIED. Peter makes it clear in that passage that it was not about how much or giving at all. It was about them lying and trying to make themselves look more generous than they really were.
For those of you who are comps. Pay close attention to Sapphira. She was went along with her husband and look where it got her.
I was talking to the director of Bellevue security today and he said that Gaines did not know about Paul Williams only a month before the investigation and disfellowshipping. He said the son never talked with Gaines but another Bellevue minister. He said the report of Gaines keeping it quiet for six months was not true.
Charles Page, you're a liar.
Steve Gaines, by his own admission, knew six months before the incident became public.
I'm just relating what the director of Bellevue security told me and he said that it was not six months and that the son never initially came to Gaines and that Gaines was told a momth before the investigation. Now maybe the director is lying, I don't know.
I'm just relating what the director of Bellevue security told me and he said that it was not six months and that the son never initially came to Gaines and that Gaines was told a momth before the investigation. Now maybe the director is lying, I don't know.
The director of security at Bellevue was only recently hired. Was he even at Bellevue when all this took place? IF what you say is true, and based on your track record I tend not to believe much that you say, he is either (1) misinformed or (2) lying (i.e. trying to cover the big cheese's rear).
From the "official" Bellevue Investigative Team and Personnel Committee Reports...
In June 2006, Mr. Williams, with his wife present, told Dr. Gaines about the incident.
To further bolster this fact, witnesses spotted Paul and Claudia Williams waiting outside Steve's office for this meeting. Of course, at the time they had no idea what the meeting was about, but they were seen going into Steve's office for the above-referenced June 2006 meeting. That was 6 months before the situation became public knowledge and any "investigation" was begun, not one month.
At least ten people, including Paul and his wife, had knowledge prior to December 7, 2006, when Paul’s son and two friends came to the Pastor about the seventeen-year-old issue and about Paul’s position on staff at Bellevue.
Paul's son had been trying to set up a meeting with Steve Gaines for some time, and Gaines reportedly was trying to avoid meeting with him. I remember Sunday, December 3, 2006, with great clarity. He was still trying to arrange a meeting with Gaines that day and was finally successful on Thursday of that week. That would have been, as the report stated, on December 7th.
When looking at the sequence of events over the seventeen-year period based on interviews with all witnesses, one glaring fact stands out. Starting with Paul, there appears to have been no serious consideration given by anyone to the health and safety of the Bellevue family. On Paul’s part, there appears to never have been any time in seventeen years that any consideration was given to the effect that having a child molester on the ministerial staff of Bellevue Baptist Church would have on the church. His only consideration appears to have been to keep his job and, in the Team’s opinion, to stay out of jail. If he had considered the welfare of the church family, he would have resigned. The molestation of a child is bad enough, but to continue on in a ministerial capacity with responsibility for sensitive areas of our church life is without excuse.
This is the same man who is now a trustee at nearby Warren Community Church (a SB church).
Even as others learned of the issue in 2005 and 2006, there appears to have been no serious consideration of the consequences on our church and church family with regard to Paul’s responsibility on the church staff. The following are some possible explanations for that lack of concern. These explanations are an attempt to understand what may have led to the uncertainty and failure to report as needed. Note that the inclusion of any item on this list does not indicate that the Team agreed with the particular item. Regardless of these past mistakes, the church must put in place procedures and policies to eliminate any delay in responding to a staff member that has had a moral failure, and to eliminate any threat to the health and safety of church members, especially our children.
• Some witnesses felt that, because the molestation happened seventeen years ago, there had apparently been no reoccurrence over that time frame, and Paul’s employment record had been outstanding, there was no threat.
• Some witnesses felt that, since Paul had confessed and asked forgiveness of his son, his wife, and the Lord, so it was “under the blood,” and there was no need to deal further with the issue. [These were Steve Gaines' words -- "it's under the blood."]
• Some witnesses noted that no one currently on staff had ever had to deal with this type of problem before. [It's "uncharted waters." Also SG.]
• While some of the staff interviewed had some knowledge of procedures to deal with this type of issue, there was a lack of knowledge by many staff members. It was noted that the staff over the children’s areas has a very good knowledge of policies and procedures for screening workers in the children’s area and has policies and procedures currently in place to protect our children. Also, the staff over the children’s area has a good working knowledge of the legal requirements under which the church is to operate.
• There was a reliance on others that had knowledge of Paul’s history and the assumption that, if some action was needed, they would have taken corrective action.
• There is a lack of policies, procedures, and training in dealing with issues of this type.
• There was always a desire to keep the circle of knowledge as tight as possible to protect the family of the individual.
While all of the above reasons may have seemed right at the time, they still do not excuse the fact that common sense would say that Paul should not have been involved in sensitive responsibilities on the church staff or on the staff at all. Also, the decision to address an issue such as Paul’s should have been made with multiple counsel.
Yes, "common sense" should have prevailed in this situation. Sadly there seems to be a severe shortage of that at Bellevue and the SBC in general.
I have been standing in front of the Warrenville Church protesting the church appointing Paul Williams A trustee. Needless to say it has led to confrontations with the pastor and the Sommerville police and particularily the chief of police.
I don't doubt that Adrian Rogers would say the same things as Gaines for the purpose of encouraging tithers. Rogers certainly spent more of the people's money than Gaines without congregation approval. Rogers was a benevolent dictator, albeit a dictator.
Let me get this straight.
HE ACTUALLY SAID "FORK OVER 10% TO ME OR GOD WILL KILL YOU"?
This is no different than "Cough it up or Guido here breaks your legs" -- since when did God become some preacher-dude's Enforcer/Hit Man?
No he didn't say that. He implied that the bible says it.
Regardless if you believe tithing is Biblical or not the question of A&S is pretentiously lying about tithing is a mortal sin! Perhaps that could get you killed.
Well, as a Bellevue member - from the Adrian Rogers' ministry to the present Steve Gaines leadership - I can say that I have been aghast at some of the homophobic remarks I have heard Gaines say from the pulpit.
For example, in one sermon recently he made the statement, "And you know, like how God destroyed Sodom and Gemorrah, becasue (of) all the homosexuals who were there?"
If my Wife and in-laws were not devoted members, I would not be there.
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