Saturday, December 23, 2006

Heartbreak

This Christmas season has blessed me tremendously. I have experienced the miracle of Christ in a deep, profound way that I am not yet ready to discuss, other than to say I hope everyone can know this grace and joy. Part of what makes Christmas as powerful as it is though is the co-existence of sadness and heartbreak with joy. Today I have experienced those as well.

This week, the church of my youth has been rocked by scandal. I haven't been a member of this church in 20 years, but I was acquainted with Paul Williams and his family. I did not know them well, but I am shocked, stunned and saddened. He and his family are in my prayers. I can only imagine the heartbreak his family has experienced, and I pray that God will bring them peace and healing.

I think that Steve Gaines has made many mistakes in handling this issue. I believe that Williams' leave of absence and the subsequent necessary investigation should have begun immediately and discreetly. The discretion is for the protection of the Williams family, not for the protection of the church leadership. The leadership needs to look seriously at itself and see how they need to confess, repent and atone. All Christians need this. I am not singling anybody out.

I've been chasing this story over the net this evening, and it's ugly and confusing. Though many at my former church would not recognize me as Christian now, Bellevue will always hold a very dear place in my heart. It is the church where I came to love God. The preachers that led the church during my membership there, Dr. R.G. Lee, Dr. Ramsey Pollard and Dr. Adrian Rogers, will always hold my love and respect even though I don't agree with every word they preached. Though Bellevue ceased to be the place where I could continue to grow in my love for and understanding of the Almighty, I have continued to see it as a good place that seemed immune from the scandals and problems that have been such a public plague for fundamentalist evangelist churches.

It is as flawed and human as the rest of the Christian church, and another piece of my residual childhood naivete has fallen. My prayer for my former church is that this tragedy will help them draw closer to Christ.

Bellevue Baptist Church

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the news stories are linked HERE along with some thoughtful comments and many mean and not so thoughtful ones.

December 23, 2006 8:39 AM  
Blogger Gannet Girl said...

I am so sorry, Cynthia. The mistakes people make in not addressing these situations with transparency and candor are mind boggling.

December 23, 2006 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

It is too true that we all are human. All are sinful. I suppose there is not a single Christian that does not stumble in some aspect every day. Though often in ways that aren't public. One in a place of service or office in the church stumbles and it is scandel. Although God holds them to a higher standard, it is still a situation of turn from the sin, repent of the sin and seek forgiveness. The sad part is how Satan uses these things to cause those weak in their faith to fall away, and those seeking to stop.

December 24, 2006 12:25 PM  

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