Embattled N.C. pastor resigns, says he was misunderstood

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by gb93433, May 11, 2005.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=20768

    Embattled N.C. pastor resigns, says he was misunderstood
    May 11, 2005
    By Norm Miller

    WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (BP)--Reading from a prepared statement, North Carolina pastor Chan Chandler told members of East Waynesville Baptist Church May 10 he was resigning as the church’s minister, effective immediately.

    "My deepest convictions are that my words and actions have been misunderstood and misinterpreted," Chandler said. "However, for me to remain now would only cause more hurt for everyone, including my family."

    The church of more than 100 active members had been embroiled for several months over what some in the church characterized as political preaching, with some of them saying they were forced out because of politics. But a few minutes after 7 p.m. May 10, Chandler diffused the situation by tendering his resignation. Chandler said the issue was not about politics but about social issues, such as abortion.

    "My concern was to give a voice to those who have no voice in our nation today and [who] have their lives terminated before they leave the safety of their mother's womb," he said. "My protest on behalf of pre-born children is non-violent in nature. And since it constitutes a deeply held religious conviction, I continue to believe that America should guarantee that liberty of conscience at all times.

    "May God continue to bless every one of you who loves our Lord, who is bringing every area of your lives under His Word."

    At issue was the alleged ouster of nine church members who said their names were removed from the church rolls because of their political views. Chandler, though, told BP May 10 that no one at the church had been ousted from church membership based on anyone’s political views or voting record.

    Chandler said he was resigning "with gratitude" in his heart for the members and "particularly those of you who love me and my family." Chandler added that his resignation would keep him from going "against the teachings found in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8," which forbids lawsuits between believers. The nine members who opposed Chandler had hired an attorney.

    "I want God’s work to go on in an effective and peaceful way,” Chandler told Baptist Press in an exclusive interview after the meeting. He said he believes his resignation is best for all concerned.

    Local newscasts cast Chandler as being against Democrats and for expelling church members who didn’t publicly declare support for President George W. Bush.

    One news program replayed an audio tape of a sermon preached by Chandler last fall in which he could be heard telling members who would vote for Kerry that they needed to “repent or resign.” Chandler told Baptist Press the quote should be viewed in context and was intended only for those in leadership roles. Chandler noted that Kerry is for abortion rights and has sided with homosexual activists on many issues.

    Chandler said voting for Kerry would have been giving tacit approval of his views, which Chandler believes would be unacceptable behavior for a Christian. Chandler emphasized he was asking the members to resign their leadership roles, and not their church membership.

    About 40 of Chandler's supporters attended the meeting.

    "I don't believe he preached politics," Rhonda Trantham, a supporter of Chandler, told the Associated Press. "I don't believe anyone should tell a preacher not to preach what's in the Bible."

    Said another member, Carolyn Gaddy, according to AP: "I think everyone in there agrees with him on the issues. Politics was the problem."

    Margaret Biddix, one of the nine members who opposed Chandler, told The Raleigh News & Observer, "Maybe the church can heal now and we can go on."

    Russ Cassell, editorial commentator on WHNS-TV in Asheville, N.C., and host of a local radio program, defended Chandler during a TV segment. Cassell said that due to the nature of the issues of the day, religion and politics are necessarily intertwined.

    "How can a pastor not speak out?” Cassell asked. “Preachers who are worth their salt try to guide their congregations on moral issues. These issues are also political issues –- such things as abortion, homosexuality, war.... The Bible’s pretty clear as to how we are to deal with these moral issues.”

    Answering the allegation that Chandler jeopardized the church’s tax-exempt status, Cassell pointed to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, saying they have supported Democratic candidates in church settings before.

    Chandler said he plans on finishing his degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He added that he and his family are trying to find the resources to pay for eye surgery for his 4-year-old son, who is blind.
     
  2. TexasSky

    TexasSky
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    his family are trying to find the resources to pay for eye surgery for his 4-year-old son, who is blind.

    We need to pray for his family, and his son.
     
  3. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Messages:
    2,508
    Likes Received:
    3
    I do not accept or condone what he has done. We need ministers who preach the gospel not attempt to force their political views on their congregation. I'd like to know how many souls this misister has won not how many votesw.
     
  4. BillyMac

    BillyMac
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2003
    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    0
    I see and hear contradictions in his explanations of what has happened there. Maybe those contradictions are the result of faulty news organizations who didn't report the truths that are now being brought out in this news report.

    For instance, this is the first time I have heard:
    1-anything about this being about abortion
    2-that this message was sent to church leaders only and that those leaders were voted out of their leadership positions
    3-that his resignation is in response to keeping some from bringing litigation to the forefront (didn't he hire an attorney also?)
    4-that he has been misinterpretted and or misunderstood.

    This whole resignation sounds to me like a man who feels guilty, but is afraid to let his feelings of guilt be admitted and repented of. Chan Chan is rationalizing his previous position instead of owning his errors and making amends. He sounds very much like me in my younger years whenever I have made mistakes but didn't want to come right out and say I had made those mistakes. This man must surely be young and inexperienced.
     
  5. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Completley agree!
     
  6. mountainrun

    mountainrun
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    0
    One way or another, he has presided over a mess and should go. He does not seem to have the qualities of leadership necessary to overcome or prevent a disastrous division.

    MR
     
  7. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    20
    Amen!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. blackbird

    blackbird
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    11,898
    Likes Received:
    2
    We live in a era full of error! Political correctness presides over Bible truth! Trent Lott can't go to a Birthday Party and wish a friend Good Luck!

    The preacher didn't do it---but I wished he would have "hung in there!"---make the church fire him instead of resigning.

    Our churches are full of "Jezebel Spirit's"---with people going "the way of Cain"---Spots in our Love Feasts---clouds without water!

    Believe me---Chandler won't stay without a church long! But as long as there is a Jezebel Spirit at East Waynesville---its on a crash course with spiritual disaster for years to come!!! Just think about it-----the church's pastor resigns---a Pastor Search Committee is formed----they start their interviews-----what a joke----you couldn't hold a gun on me to take that position! I'd tell you to either get your church's heart right---or go ahead and pull the trigger!!!
     
  9. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Blackbird, what you are saying then is it is perfectly acceptable for a Baptist Minister to disregard the Baptist Distinctives as this chap has done?
     
  10. Alcott

    Alcott
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    7,452
    Likes Received:
    93
    I once went through something quite like this with a church in my days as a young adult with a newfound faith. This new pastor came and quickly got some old members upset by daring to preach in a raised voice and to emphasize reaching out to the 'other' side of town, as well coming on a bit strong with certain principles already in place [ex.: "I will not tolerate the use of tobacco in these facilities!"]. He also pushed a mission endeavor by a Bible college student in a federal job training center for troubled youth, letting the new converts be baptized in the church; and some of those old members grumbled about his emphasis being on the newer and younger and more political set than upon "feeding the flock," which apparently meant kowtowing to those old entrenched extended families. So while new members were coming in, a few old ones were going out, complaining about his loud and arrogant style of preaching and the change in direction from what they had been used to.

    At the time I liked the new changes and what was happening, and I became more involved. But I was blind to a lot of things going on. There was a revival canceled, and a very vague explanation for this in the newsletter, which was all I knew. I later found out the guest preacher was a controversial 'Moral Majority' (Falwell's group at the time) advocate, and some members thought this fundamentalist persuasion was going too far. But things seemed to cool off for a while and this pastor did start to sound more "traditionally Baptist" in his approach. Then he arranged for a guest evangelist for one day that this popular but extreme former gang leader happened to have open, and this angered many of those old members to the snapping point. This evangelist cut the church down, raged against WMU and other groups for meeting over coffee and gosspip "when you should be out knocking on doors telling people about Jesus!"

    The next Wednesday night at prayer meeting (which I had only recently began going to; never had any concern about being that involved in church before) I was completely taken by surprise when the pastor announced that the Personnel Committee was meeting "behind my back" and planning to oust him "like before," referring to the nixed revival and the following incidents. I was floored at the accusations and the shouting and walking out with doors slamming. My illusion of churches as being, not perfect, but still united in a cause, was irrevocably shattered in a moment. And I still live with that night on my mind; for a year there I had finally grown as a Christian, beginning to share the gospel and thinking I could actually make a difference for Christ. Now, those old entrenched members got their way and the pastor and about 30 of his supporters were gone, and I was started on the road to bitterness and cynicism about churches. I think there is a good chance I would have become a minister without that experience; but every time someone told me they thought I seemed to be one with that "call," I could never get past that experience and my cynicism and self-doubt. The irony, I suppose, is that I have probably become like those "old members" to which I referred. I am now a skeptic about new programs and directions.

    So while my experience of 2 decades ago is not exactly like this recent church which split over politics, there are connections, and I wonder about the long-term effects on some in that church, as well as where both the pastor and that church will be going now.
     
  11. BillyMac

    BillyMac
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2003
    Messages:
    710
    Likes Received:
    0
    Someone here said that Chan won't go without a church long. Unfortunately that is true. Some dumb flock of sheep will take him in and adopt him. I just hope that whatever congregation does so, will take him under their wing and teach him how to deal with people fairly. With him there is no balance. There is no tolerance for someone else's Christian stand within their political views. That spirit of politics one side or the other with no moderates in between can kill more than the peace of a local church.

    I'm surprised this guy doesn't form his opinions of people based on the brand of cars they drive. He might be one who drives a Ford instead of a Chevrolet. Some people like Hondas or Toyotas while others prefer Audis and BMWs. (Japanese against the Germans and both of them against US domestic makes). There are all kinds of people in the world who also happen to be Baptists and this guy Chandler hasn't figured out that not every one is going to adapt to the pastors likes and dislikes or his political views either.

    There needs to be balance if there is going to be harmony. And this guy hasn't learned that yet.
     
  12. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Does it occur to anyone besides me that we are not hearing the unbiased story? This young preacher (still in seminary and pastoring part-time) has been mercilessly attacked as a straw man.

    The liberal media, in a feeding frenzy to attack our political leaders who are perceived as "right wing fundamentalists", are poisoning the well of public opinion by painting a one-sided attack on situations like this.

    If I had a church and a bunch of members were causing division and spewing hatred, I would ask for their dismissal, too.
     
  13. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    web page

    web page

    web page

    There were at least two of us on the other thread who recognized this Dr. Bob.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  14. Terry_Herrington

    Terry_Herrington
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Messages:
    4,455
    Likes Received:
    1
    Too bad this congregation did not have the privilege of firing this "pastor." I would have joined this church just so I could vote him out.
     
  15. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,502
    Likes Received:
    40
    Dr. Bob :
    My thoughts also, Dr B.!!

    Terry_Herrington:
    Glad to see that the Christian spirit is alive & well!!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  16. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    Why ? Was he crucified for souls ?
     
  17. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    20
    Baptist pastors need to preach the Bible instead of politics, abortion, science fiction, and other irrelevant things.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    It takes a lot more study to do that and get it right.
     
  19. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Not likely in most SBC churches.
     
  20. mcgyver

    mcgyver
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    0
    "I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests--and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning--and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution--and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

    Alexis de Tocqueville. circa 1831

    Firstly, I don't know what really happened in that church, and I for one view such a media feeding frenzy with a jaundiced eye....I will not therefore venture to pass judgement on that pastor's actions.

    I am distressed however, to see such comments as not preaching on certain subjects such as abortion (for example).

    In our day and time, "politics" and "religon" are intertwined in such a way that we can not avoid stepping on someone's toes if we truly preach God's word...My Opinion.

    During Roe v. Wade.....How many pulpits were silent?

    In the controversy of gay-unions....How many pulpits are silent?

    In the passing out of condoms in our schools instead of teaching abstinence....How many pulpits are silent?

    I would not deign to tell our congregation who to vote for, but I will address the issues and stand on those issues from a Christian perspective.

    de Tocqueville made an astute observation........if we as God's people fail to preach righteousness from the pulpit, it we hold politics as a "sacred cow" not to be touched; who will proclaim the truth?

    Perhaps that pastor's methodology could use improvement, but I daresay his heart is in the right place.

    Let the firestorm begin......
     

Share This Page

Loading...