How should this be handled?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by JamesBell, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. JamesBell

    JamesBell
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    I don't know if this is "national news" or not. I know it is being talked about here in Oklahoma and in SW Missouri. So, here is the Cliff's Notes version.

    The pastor of a large SBC church in Oklahoma was arrested for propositioning an undercover police officer. While he did not offer any money, he did offer to perform lewd acts. To make matters worse, this was done in an area where police are craching down on homosexuals flagging cars down and offering to pay for these things (that is why the police where there in the first place). So of course, this wasn't a woman police officer, but another male.

    My question is this: How should we, as fellow Oklahomans and members of churches that contribute to the Baptist General Convention, which this man's church is a member of, react? I want to demand that church be removed from the rolls of the Oklahoma SBC convention. I want to take a stand against this sin entering our churches. But, would this be the proper thing to do? In a case where the man needs help, would it be wrong to turn our backs on him? And should we even attempt to believe his story that he was involved in a prayer ministry in the area and was set up? I just know I am troubled by this situation, and would really like some others to let me know if I should be as upset as I am.
     
  2. Brice

    Brice
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  3. Bible-boy

    Bible-boy
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    We follow Matthew 18. We get the facts. Then if it is found that sin was indeed involved we act in a way so as to restore the Brother in Christ to right relationship and fellowship. If (and that is a big if right now because we do not know all the facts) he is guilty of sin and is unrepentent the Bible also tells how to deal with an Elder in such a circumstance (1 Tim. 5:19-22). If needed Johnny Hunt's First Baptist Woodstock, GA has a great ministry for restoring fallen pastors to right relationship, fellowship, and fruitful ministry.
     
  4. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    My input as a retired pastor would be this. First make sure this is a valid story, meaning that the minister actually is guilty of such a crime.

    How do we know if it is true? Ask God to reveal it. Also, see what the judge decides.

    If indeed the man is guilty, he should be judged by the church in the manner that Paul told the church to judge the man who was fornicating with his step-mother in 1 Corinthians 5. Put such an one out of the church. Turn him over to the devil for the destruction of the flesh that the soul might be saved in the end day.

    If after a time, the man repents, then accept this man back as a member as Paul instructed in 2 Corinthians 2.

    We must also take into account that according to 1 Timothy 3 the Bishop (pastor, elder) is to be above reproach.
     
  5. RayMarshall19

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    Well said. pastor. Forgiven sins still have consequences.
     
  6. Scott J

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    This is just one more reason I am an independent Baptist. The state convention is an extra biblical organization that is now in a position to choose between two unbiblical options: either they interfere in the operation of a local body of believers or else tolerate sin.
     
  7. Johnv

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    I will make the same comment here as I did on the other thread where this is being discussed. On the surface, it would be hard pressed to make a case for being framed, as he claims, given that, even if an undercover propositions you, you're not being forced to say "yes". But as Christians, we're bound to reserve judgement upon the man until his verdice is decided according to law. Let him have his day in court, as is entitled. If he is guilty as charged, he must pay the price.
     
  8. Karen

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    I see this as a false dilemma. Why would we assume that the state convention would have to interfere in the affairs of a local church? Why would we assume that the local church will not handle this?
    Also, not in the post I quoted, but in another one above, why should the whole church be thrown out of the convention? What one person, even the pastor, may or may not have done, is not what the whole church did. I don't see realizing that as condoning sin.

    Karen
     
  9. Thankful

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    Well said, Karen! [​IMG]
     
  10. Martin

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    ==I don't see any reason for the state convention to get involved at all. Allow the local church to deal with the situation. I notice this pastors name/picture have already been removed from the church's website (and so it should be).

    Martin.
     
  11. USN2Pulpit

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    Being that he is a member of the SBC Executive Board, I'm sure he'll be asked to resign that position...
     
  12. JamesBell

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    People have asked why the state convention should have to get involved, when the local church should take action. I agree, they should take action, but that does not mean they will. I have a real fear that this man will convince his flock that nothing happened, that it will drift away from news coverage, and he will continue in his position. While it seems that we should wait on the courts to make their decision, it is really quite clear that the man is guilty. The area where this happened is the "homosexual area" of Oklahoma City, the conduct was exactly what people have been complaining about, and he was about an hour and a half from home at a meeting that nobody else seems to know about.

    I just don't want this to end up making Christians look foolish to the average person on the street. How can we hope to win the lost when something like this is in their mind? If a person thinks they are a good and moral person apart from Christ, why would they want to get involved with something that allows something like this to happen?

    I guess I need to pray that I am wrong about the whole thing and that things will be handled properly.
     
  13. Brother Ian

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  14. Karen

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    James,
    At least some of your fears are groundless. He resigned Thursday from all of his positons, local, state, and national.

    There is no coverup. What he apparently did was wrong, and no one in his former church or the OK SBC or national SBC is saying otherwise. They all counsel prayer for all involved.
    God loves this man and has not cast him away.

    In our witnessing we should point others to Christ, not ourselves or other people. People will fail us.

    Karen
     
  15. standingfirminChrist

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    If this minister had not stepped down, and if the local body had not taken action to put the man out as per Paul's instructions in 1 Corinthians 5, then a higher authority would of necessity have had to have been brought in.. But, the man has resigned according to the past post.

    It is our duty to not give up on him, but rather pray for him that he might repent and be restored to the local church in humility.
     
  16. USN2Pulpit

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    He's resigned from each position he held - the right thing to do. Now is a good time to pray for him, his family, and his church.
     
  17. JamesBell

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    I can only hope that the Lord will use this opportunity to make a real difference in this man's life. While he needed to step down from the positions he held, this man could clearly do a great deal for the Church in the future if he gets the problems he has fixed.
     
  18. gb93433

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    Imagine what his wife must be thinking!
     
  19. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    This says it all:

     
  20. mountainrun

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    Obviously his initial claim of being set up was a lie as he has asked forgiveness and is seeking healing.

    He should have stepped down and sought healing BEFORE he got caught.

    Most people are sorry they got caught rather than being sorry for what they did.

    Hopefully, Lonnie is genuinely repentant.

    Jimmy Swaggart was in a similiar position and repeated the offense thinking he wouldn't get caught again.

    It's probable that this is not a one-time transgression. Just the first time he got caught.

    MR
     

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