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« THREE SUE BAPTIST CHURCH OVER EXCOMMUNICATION | Main | Ku Klux Klan Skeletons in the Jonesian Closet? »

May 31, 2007

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J.S.

What is this. To me it looks like a lot of slander and complaining over things that allegedly happened over a decade ago. I think it is unfair for the innocent people you have assaulted their character. I know a lot of these people personally and it hurts so deeply to see this written about them. I think it is time that you let this go.

What is this. To me it looks like a lot of slander and complaining over things that allegedly happened over a decade ago. I think it is unfair for the innocent people you have assaulted their character. I know a lot of these people personally and it hurts so deeply to see this written about them. I think it is time that you let this go.

Thanks for your comments, JoyBell Smith.

As I understand the word "slander", the word involves the publication of false statements about another. Let me assure you that I stand ready and willing to humbly retract any falsehoods I have written or said about the "innocent" people whose character you accuse me of assaulting. However, you have not cited any falsehoods in my report. In fact, I simply reported what your friends did.

And, I moved on, J.S. I have nothing to do with fundamentalists or fundamentalism. In fact, I decided to start this blog because your "innocent" friends at Northside and BJU continued lying about this matter for years. I fought it for awhile and then shut up about it thinking it might all pass. The lies kept coming. I thought the best way to set the record straight and silence their lying, slandering lips. As Bob Jones, Sr. used to say, "Some people say 'Don't say anything. You can't wash dirty linen in public.' But I say, 'It's better to wash dirty linen in public than to not wash it at all!'"

Winston Churchill once said that those who ignore reality and malign those who speak the truth are still left having to deal with the facts. I believe that is where you stand today.

Let's take a look at the conduct of the Christian "innocents" you are trying to defend in light of the facts - facts that you seem to deem by logical extension as appropriate Christian behavior. Now, a shallow, naive person so inclined may think this was about money. But remember that Christ taught that it is impossible to serve Him in a spiritual capacity without first being found faithful with mammon. Christ also taught that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. But, it really isn't necessary for one to grasp those spiritual principles or concepts to comprehend the truth about Northside on a basic level.

The facts are: Northside's preacher, John Stevens, was taking things that were not his including free church school tuition for his daughter (even though that was specifically forbidden in his employment contract), over-spending his credit card limit, etc. Church staffers loyal to the preacher were also beneficiaries of unwarranted church benefits like unapproved jobs, tuition discounts, etc.

The church deacons, staff, employees, and congregants participated in a cover up of this wrongdoing by invoking I Corinthians 5 and the name of Jesus Christ to vote to ex-communicate three people two days before these members' scheduled inspection of the church books. (Remember the Corinthian man who was turned over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh for engaging in an incestuous relationship with his father's wife. This is what these "innocent" friends of yours purported to do to my pregnant wife, father, and me.)

That hearing was planned in secret and conducted without any notice to the accused. Congregants loyal to Stevens were discreetly encouraged to attend the Wed. nite meeting to "support the pastor". (Look up my post on LeeAnne Gothard's Northside resignation letter.)

Attendees of the meeting were granted the possibility of "one three-minute" opportunity to talk. The accused were not given any notice of the meeting, notice of the charges against them, or opportunity to defend themselves. A standing vote was mandated, a change from previous meetings. (Interestingly, we were told by one teacher that she would have voted against the ex-communication but she needed her church job to pay their mortgage. (Sound like your religion at work, J.S.? I hope not. Sound like the Spirit of your God at work, J.S.? I hope not.)

An internal audit of the church books by the chairman of the audit committee found fraud and misappropriation of funds, etc., etc., etc. The church leadership manipulated to congregation to vote to reject that audit report in favor of a glowing audit report by two audit committee members more loyal to Stevens than to the truth. Don't take my word for it, JoyBell, read what was "reported commonly" in The Post and Courier newspaper. The entire community got a good look at how business is conducted in an independent, fundamentalist Baptist organization. Read the article and tell us all if it makes you feel proud to be friends with these "innocents" you think I have maligned.

If you are happy practicing your religion in this kind of organization, you are right where you belong. If that sort of behavior is reflective of your your religion, you should feel right at home.

If you find an instance in which I have lied and/or slander anybody, please don't hesitate to bring that to my attention and I will correct it immediately.

And, if you disagree with my conclusions, wait ten or twenty years, revisit my feeble missive, and see if you have come to any of the same conclusions about fundamentalists and fundamentalism that I have.

mark fitzhenry

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