GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

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GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby William Thornton » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:09 am

Georgia Baptists take aim at women-led churches

Back in November, as the article above recounts, the Georgia Baptist Convention expressed their views on what to do with churches that might call female pastors (tell them to keep their stinkin' money and not send it to the GBC). The convention action was squarely aimed at a single church FBC Decatur who, in a rather high profile manner, called such a pastor. At the time FBC Decatur's new pastor, Julie Pennington Russell, handled the attention and displeasure with some grace and aplomb, noting dryly that the church has had a 146 year relationship with the GBC and that "“I kept waiting for someone from the Georgia Baptist Convention to call us or come visit with me and other leaders of our church to inform us that these matters were being discussed..”. No one came, called or emailed, such is the primitive state of communications technology here in GA, I suppose.

Well, two months later, I am happy to report that the long wait is over. Three GBC reps finally decided that the arduous 20 mile trip from GBC HQ to Decatur was doable and went for a chat with the female pastor. Baptists Today editor John Pierce writes about it:

Decatur church could face more GBC wrath

So the guys go down to Decatur to personally convey the 'news' that the GBC will probably kick the church out this fall and that if the church needs any assistance from the GBC they will not be able to get it.

Most GBCers are probably like me, believing that a pastor should be a man, but I wouldn't vote to kick the church out for having a female pastor. It's their decision to call whom they will. I'm not sure what the profit to the GBC would be to take such action. So far, the convention looks a little silly through it all and John Pierce easily skewers the GBC for it. Pierce ought to send the GBC a check for making his blog so easy to write.
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Mark » Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:45 pm

William Thornton wrote:No one came, called or emailed, such is the primitive state of communications technology here in GA....

Well, we already knew that, of course. :wink:

But not even a telegraphed message saying "What hath God wrought?" :?:
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:40 pm

Ed: Does any one have a figure on how much FBC Decatur contributed to the financial coffers of the GBC over the last fifty years?
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Dave Roberts » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:11 pm

It seems to me the GBC is losing a lot more than is First Decatur, IMHO. Credibility in a lost world is a hard commodity to find. This will not help.
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby David Flick » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:04 am

William Thornton wrote:Most GBCers are probably like me, believing that a pastor should be a man, but I wouldn't vote to kick the church out for having a female pastor. It's their decision to call whom they will. I'm not sure what the profit to the GBC would be to take such action. So far, the convention looks a little silly through it all and John Pierce easily skewers the GBC for it. Pierce ought to send the GBC a check for making his blog so easy to write.

William, this entire quote deserves a Golden Spur, but especially the last two sentences. :lol:

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John should put this quote in the BT's "Quotation Remarks"...
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Shortandy » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:40 am

Dave Roberts wrote:It seems to me the GBC is losing a lot more than is First Decatur, IMHO. Credibility in a lost world is a hard commodity to find. This will not help.



Just about everything the church does should seem crazy to a lost world. Remember Dave we are "aliens and strangers" here. Many of our views, practices, etc should seem strange to the outside world. I would be weary of any Church who had an abundance of credibility in the lost world. It might mean they are too worldly.
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Shortandy » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:46 am

I have to agree with William. I am not in favor of women pastors but for the GBC to "flex its muscle" in this fashion is crazy. I can't find one chapter and verse that evev comes close to this action that has been taken. As a matter of fact the GBC went completly backwards to the biblical model set for us in Matthew 18. If a brother or sister has offend you then you are to go to them first. IF they will not listen you take someone along with you. If that doesn't work you then make the matter public. Again my own convention when backwards. They went public then finally went to the church.

The whole thing just makes me sick to be honest.
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Mark » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:30 pm

Shortandy wrote:The whole thing just makes me sick to be honest...

Being honest has sickened many Fundamentalists over the years. It's because they're so unaccustomed to trying it. :D
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby William Thornton » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:16 am

I've said before that I agree with Wade Burleson at least part of the time. His blog from yesterday on the GBC/FBC Decatur matter (in which I - "one conservative pastor" - am quoted from this topic but the quote is misattributed):

A Tale of Two Churches and Their Leadership

Burleson gets in some heavy slaps at his old IMB nemesis, the former chairman, for problems in his church, something I would ordinarily dismiss as vengeful meanness - one pastor with a big megaphone shouting to all about another pastor's church problems to make a point. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

No one can not notice some things about this business of dismissing churches (variously exhibited by refusing their money, refusing to seat their messengers, withdrawing fellowship): (1) It is highly selective, (2) It is almost always handled poorly, (3) the SBC at several levels looks stupid because of it, (4) It is difficult or impossible to justify on the basis of consistency, and (5) the value of such actions in advancing the kingdom of God is often absent.
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The Reasons the Questions Must Be Pointed

Postby Wade Burleson » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:20 am

William,

Thanks for pointing out the faulty link. Attribution for your quote about Julie Pennington-Russell has been corrected. I realize that you are not sure how you feel about airing the problems at Tom Hatley's church, but since the Georgia Baptist Convention has very little problem airing their "displeasure" at FBC Decatur, and since the Convention is now making a "disfellowship" move toward FBC, Decatur I am putting the Convention leadership on notice that this action will not be done without other Southern Baptists being direct, and at times sharp, in our questioning of their intended course. However, If I were reading my post impartially, I would come away believing my words to be much more critical towards Dr. White, the Executive Director of the Georgia Baptist Convention. His integrity is at stake. I use the situation at IBC and pastor Tom Hatley as illustrative of what you call: (1) the highly selective practice of disfellowshipping, (2) the poor handling of disfellowshipping a church, (3) the shadow of stupidity cast on all the SBC because of GBC, (4) the difficulty or impossibility to justify the action on the basis of consistency, and (5) the lack of kingdom value in such an action. Those pushing to disfellowship from FBC Decatur argue they are being "faithful" to the biblical text. I am asking, as loudly as I can, "What about all the other qualities the Bible commands a pastor to possess? Are you going to disfellowship from those churches who call pastors who lack self-control, gentleness, etc . . . or are you simply singling out those churches that call a "female"?" Obviously, I believe that we should leave both churches, IBC, Rogers and FBC, Decatur alone, and let the local church practice their autonomy without interference from outsiders. My post is to point out the inconsistency of the act of disfellowship.

To your point number four, which affirms precisely what I am saying, I would like to add two thoughts:

First, there is a measure of consistency in this new found practice of Convention's or SBC agencies "disfellowshipping," "removing," or "publicly denigrating" those who disagree with various interpretations of the sacred text. Those in power are always the ones who determine what should be believed, and those in power are the ones always removing the dissenters.

Second, until those without the power are unafraid to confront such un-christian, absurd and definitely un-baptistic abuses of power by SBC trustee and denominational leaders, there will never be a stop put to it in the Southern Baptist Convention.

I am doing my part to make it end.

Wade
Last edited by Wade Burleson on Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Ed Pettibone » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:20 pm

William Thornton wrote:I've said before that I agree with Wade Burleson at least part of the time. His blog from yesterday on the GBC/FBC Decatur matter (in which I - "one conservative pastor" - am quoted from this topic but the quote is misattributed):

A Tale of Two Churches and Their Leadership

Burleson gets in some heavy slaps at his old IMB nemesis, the former chairman, for problems in his church, something I would ordinarily dismiss as vengeful meanness - one pastor with a big megaphone shouting to all about another pastor's church problems to make a point. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

No one can not notice some things about this business of dismissing churches (variously exhibited by refusing their money, refusing to seat their messengers, withdrawing fellowship): (1) It is highly selective, (2) It is almost always handled poorly, (3) the SBC at several levels looks stupid because of it, (4) It is difficult or impossible to justify on the basis of consistency, and (5) the value of such actions in advancing the kingdom of God is often absent.


Ed: William, as you know I am not only supportive of women in ministry even those in the Pastorate, I am married to one of them. Therefore some may be surprised that I am inclined to agree with your thought about one pastor with a big megaphone shouting to all about another pastor's church problems to make a point having an aroma of vengeful meanness. To me it even seams that Wade is unscrupulously using the issue between the GBC and FBC Decatur to ferment discord among churches in Arkansas and FBC of Rogers.

Furthermore some will be surprised to see me say that I am persuaded that the GBC is well within their rights to withdraw fellowship from FBC of Decatur IF they are serious about doing so any time a GBC church chooses a female for pastor. I think they their reasoning is wrong, But if that is the informed decision of the mass of the GBC they have a right to be wrong. And I have not seen any thing about the Arkansas state convention or Wades own Oklahoma state convention jumping in on the situation involving Juli Pennington - Russell. It is the GBC and the SBC's loss. Perhaps FBC Decatur will be comfortable in increasing their already generous gifts to CBF.

Now William, has your your church there in Georgia, taken a position on the question of what they will do in regard to the GBC's proposed action?
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:29 pm

JPierce has an updated and scathing, provocative blog about GBC and FBC Decatur up today at http://www.bteditor.blogspot.com

Jan 27
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby William Thornton » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:40 pm

John Pierce reports in his blog today that "Only about 13 members [of FBC Decatur]— some with relatives serving as Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) missionaries — direct their mission gifts to SBC causes through the church, she said. The church will find a way for them to continue that support if they wish, she added."
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:25 pm

Here's the info that I compiled on First Baptist Decatur from the Georgia Baptist Convention annuals:

Average "Total Tithes and Offerings" (1998-2007) = 2,100,000
Average Membership (1998-2007) = 2,776
Average "CP Giving" (1998-2007) = 9883.03
Average "Total Gifts Thru Executive Committee" (1998-2007) = 31,842

During the period 2003-2007:

Average Total Tithes and Offerings = 1,200,000
Average CP Giving = 3,150.60
Average Total Gifts Thru Executive Committee = 17,575
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Consistency Is the Question; Nothing Else

Postby Wade Burleson » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:37 pm

Ed Pettibone said, "To me it even seams(sic) that Wade is unscrupulously using the issue between the GBC and FBC Decatur to ferment discord among churches in Arkansas and FBC of Rogers."

?? Ed, I am unsure of what you mean by "(fermenting) discord" among churches in Arkansas. However, don't take the time to explain because you have totally missed the point of my post. I am hopeful that maybe, after re-reading what I have written, you might see it is a defense of church autonomy, and a call for Conventions to be consistent and to leave business matters in autonomous churches alone, including IBC and FBC Decatur, rather than "disfellowshipping" from those churches. More precisely, it is calling out the illogicalness and inconsistency of "disfellowshipping" from one church that (in the Convention's opinion) fails to meet the biblical qualifcations of pastor, but refusing to "disfellowship" from another church that very well might have pastors that fail to meet the biblical qualifications of a pastor in other areas. Why be selective? Either "disfellowship" from a church that calls a pastor that violates any biblical qualifications of a pastor (as you see it), or let autonomous churches go about calling the pastors they believe meet the qualifications. The Georgia Baptist Convention, or any other Baptist Convention, ought not be selective.
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Wade;

Postby Stephen Fox » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:14 pm

proud to see you and William in this scrum.

Fight the Power!!!!!!!! :lol: :D :lol: :brick:
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Re: Consistency Is the Question; Nothing Else

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:20 am

Wade Burleson wrote:Ed Pettibone said, "To me it even seams(sic) that Wade is unscrupulously using the issue between the GBC and FBC Decatur to ferment discord among churches in Arkansas and FBC of Rogers."

?? Ed, I am unsure of what you mean by "(fermenting) discord" among churches in Arkansas. However, don't take the time to explain because you have totally missed the point of my post. I am hopeful that maybe, after re-reading what I have written, you might see it is a defense of church autonomy, and a call for Conventions to be consistent and to leave business matters in autonomous churches alone, including IBC and FBC Decatur, rather than "disfellowshipping" from those churches. More precisely, it is calling out the illogicalness and inconsistency of "disfellowshipping" from one church that (in the Convention's opinion) fails to meet the biblical qualifcations of pastor, but refusing to "disfellowship" from another church that very well might have pastors that fail to meet the biblical qualifications of a pastor in other areas. Why be selective? Either "disfellowship" from a church that calls a pastor that violates any biblical qualifications of a pastor (as you see it), or let autonomous churches go about calling the pastors they believe meet the qualifications. The Georgia Baptist Convention, or any other Baptist Convention, ought not be selective.



Ed: So I must ask; Wade, do you think your editorializing about FBC Rogers and their pastor will engender a spirit of love and cooperation between them and other churches in the Arkansas state convention or or is it likely to have people drawing up sides?

I have at your suggestion reread your Blog post regarding the GBC and FBC Decatur, and the one about IBC which is in the Arkansas state convention, two states away from Ga. with no organic ties. And I am still of the opinion that in so doing you used the situation at FBC Decatur as a spring board to publicise the problems of IBC and their pastor. Or as I said in the post to which you object “To me it even seams that Wade is unscrupulously using the issue between the GBC and FBC Decatur to ferment discord among churches in Arkansas and FBC of Rogers. Note that statement starts with "To me".

Indeed the action of the GBC may be a attempt to interfere with the autonomy of the FBC Decatur, but it does not invalidate said autonomy. And the matter in Arkansas is a totally different issue, involving yet another autonomous State convention responsible to no one other than God and their constituents.

Rather than my missing your point, Wade I believe you missed mine. I support the right of Baptist conventions, fellowships, regions, associations and churches to establish and regulate their own membership parameters so long as they accept the consequences. I do also believe that as a matter of principle each entity should enforce their polity issue by issue, with an even hand.
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Haruo » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:30 am

Fermenting discord may be more objectionable to those of us who are teetotalin' babtists ;-) than to those who, like Wade, can see beyond the issue of wine ;-)... After all, you can make pretty good wine from some pretty sour grapes... ;-) ;-) ;-)
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby David Flick » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:58 am

Haruo wrote:Fermenting discord may be more objectionable to those of us who are teetotalin' babtists ;-) than to those who, like Wade, can see beyond the issue of wine ;-)... After all, you can make pretty good wine from some pretty sour grapes... ;-) ;-) ;-)

Haruo, that comment was both humorous and profound. Thus you earn two Golden Spurs.

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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:52 pm

Haruo wrote:Fermenting discord may be more objectionable to those of us who are teetotalin' babtists ;-) than to those who, like Wade, can see beyond the issue of wine ;-)... After all, you can make pretty good wine from some pretty sour grapes... ;-) ;-) ;-)


ED; Haruo, why do you find it necessary to belittle my use of the phrase "fermenting discord"? It is a legitimate phrase. If you use google you you will find it used in many literary genre. Or are you and David simply attempting to derail my less than positive evaluation of Wades Blog? :roll:
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Wade Burleson » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:05 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:
Haruo wrote:Fermenting discord may be more objectionable to those of us who are teetotalin' babtists ;-) than to those who, like Wade, can see beyond the issue of wine ;-)... After all, you can make pretty good wine from some pretty sour grapes... ;-) ;-) ;-)


ED; Haruo, why do you find it necessary to belittle my use of the phrase "fermenting discord"? It is a legitimate phrase. If you use google you you will find it used in many literary genre. Or are you and David simply attempting to derail my less than positive evaluation of Wades Blog? :roll:


Ed, an old Chinese proverb may be appropriate in light of your disgust at the perceived "belittling" you feel from our friend Hauro for his "less than positive evaluation" of your commentary regarding my blog:

He who delights in dishing the sauce must refrain from declaring his own distaste for it.

Blessings to you,

Wade
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:29 pm

Wade Burleson wrote:
Ed Pettibone wrote:
Haruo wrote:Fermenting discord may be more objectionable to those of us who are teetotalin' babtists ;-) than to those who, like Wade, can see beyond the issue of wine ;-)... After all, you can make pretty good wine from some pretty sour grapes... ;-) ;-) ;-)


ED; Haruo, why do you find it necessary to belittle my use of the phrase "fermenting discord"? It is a legitimate phrase. If you use google you will find it used in many literary genre. Or are you and David simply attempting to derail my less than positive evaluation of Wades Blog? :roll:


Ed, an old Chinese proverb may be appropriate in light of your disgust at the perceived "belittling" you feel from our friend Hauro for his "less than positive evaluation" of your commentary regarding my blog:

He who delights in dishing the sauce must refrain from declaring his own distaste for it.

Blessings to you,

Wade


Ed: Wade if you note, Haruo chose to discuss only one phrase from my criticism of your Blog. That is what I inquired about. I dished no sauce, nor did Haruo as I see it. But lets allow him to answer my question as directed to him, if you don't mind. After all you wrote I am unsure of what you mean by "(fermenting) discord" among churches in Arkansas. However, don't take the time to explain.., so now are you upset because I did "take time to explain"? If he wanted to be "dish sauce" Haruo could have cited my error in saying Arkansas is two states away from GA, most forth graders should know Arkansas is the third state west of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi are between them. :D I have lived in all four, I should have known better. :oops:
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby William Thornton » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:23 pm

Ed, I have allowed your exchange with Haruo, David, and Wade to ferment a bit in my mind and I hope you don't think that I am fomenting discord amongst the brethren with this reply. Google "fermenting discord" and then "fomenting discord" and see what you get. The former is a possible construction, I suppose, but the latter is what you probably should have put. Then again, I have learned over the years that it is risky to plumb the depths of the mind of Ed.... :D

Haruo was quite clever in his handling of your misspelling (or misuse) of the word "fermenting."
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Berry College

Postby Stephen Fox » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:05 pm

The dissenters at Adrian Rogers Bellevue; one of the dissenting blogs there at Bellevue is actively engaged in the comment line of Wade Burleson's two recent blogs on FBC Decatur.

JPierce at BapsToday has commented on his blog the Feb issue of BT features an interview with Jerry Vines West Rome Baptist Product Susan Shaw; and her book on her Mom's bible Study.
Both Pierce and Shaw are Berry College grads.
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Re: GBC and churches w/female pastors, part two

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:28 pm

William Thornton wrote:Ed, I have allowed your exchange with Haruo, David, and Wade to ferment a bit in my mind and I hope you don't think that I am fomenting discord amongst the brethren with this reply. Google "fermenting discord" and then "fomenting discord" and see what you get. The former is a possible construction, I suppose, but the latter is what you probably should have put. Then again, I have learned over the years that it is risky to plumb the depths of the mind of Ed.... :D

Haruo was quite clever in his handling of your misspelling (or misuse) of the word "fermenting."


Ed; William I will concede that fomenting would have been the preferable word how ever of you take a look http://www.visualthesaurus.com you will find that the two words come from the same source and have common synonyms fermenting then was not an unreasonable choice. It seems that a language expert like Haruo should have had no problem understanding my meaning. But we have digressed and to get us back on track, I will modify my original statement to read
"it even seams that Wade is unscrupulously using the issue between the GBC and FBC Decatur to foment discord among other churches in Arkansas and FBC of Rogers."

And William, I remind you that you are the one who opened this door when you said "Burleson gets in some heavy slaps at his old IMB nemesis, the former chairman, for problems in his church, something I would ordinarily dismiss as vengeful meanness - one pastor with a big megaphone shouting to all about another pastor's church problems to make a point. I'm not sure how I feel about this". I have told you how I feel about it.

P.S. Thank you for showing me the preferable word sometime my lifelong hearing problem causes me not to make such fine distinctions until they are pointed out.
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