Thursday, August 28, 2008

Croon along

If I had a buck for every time some Baptist guy has called me “bitter,” I’d have a big pile of moolah.

That seems to be their dismissive word of choice.

What’s comical is that I have such a pathological penchant for self-doubt that I actually sit back sometimes and think about it. Obviously, their name-calling isn’t really worth even one second of my time. It’s just that I have a tendency toward second-guessing.

So I wind up asking myself: Am I bitter?

And finally, with so many of their “bitter” barbs flung my way, there was nothing left to do but stick that question into a song.

Feel free to croon along. It’s sort of to the tune of “Am I blue?”

Am I bitter?
Over this?
No I’m not.
It’s a crock.
I’m not bitter.
Just wanting better.
How ‘bout you?

Maybe in some afterlife, these bitter-barbed Baptist guys will get a bit of punishment and have to listen to me sing. Now there’s a wicked thought. Oops…. Am I bitter?
_______________________________

I couldn't figure out how to post musical notation, but if you want to carry this bit of silliness a bit further, this will give you a notion of the notes I'm singing....

gg│ D - - gg │ D# - - gg │ D - - de │ C - - cd │ B - - bc │ A - - ab │ G - -

32 comments:

John Doe said...

Although I've never heard you sing, Christa, even that would be too good for these leaders.

oc said...

You know, it is easy to call someone else "bitter" when you can't, or more like it WON'T, feel or at least try to understand someone else's pain. It is nothing more than a desperate defense for a moral lack.
And it is hard hearted people who bring the charge of "bitter", and they do so as a defense for their own lack of compassion. They guard their own fragile egos because their souls are running on empty and can't take yet another hit knowing that they are less in heart than what Jesus requires.
They are cowards. They fear the understanding which will give them compassion, which in turn will give them pain. And they run from the pain like sissies, while lobbing the molotav cocktail called "bitter" toward those who threaten their comfort bubble.
The soul is corrupt, and the heart bears it out, so the mind desperately defends, therefore the mouth spits out "bitter!"
But the truth is that what the mouth has shouted is but a sad inventory taken from inside of the one who spat the word.

Christa Brown said...

"But the truth is that what the mouth has shouted is but a sad inventory taken from inside of the one who spat the word."

Great words, OC. It makes me think of some of the other junk that SBC leaders have spit forth. Like Paige Patterson calling us "evil-doers." And Frank Page publicly saying that we were "nothing more than opportunistic persons." Maybe, like you say, they're really just flinging forth the "inventory" of what's inside themselves.

Phyllis Gregory said...

Christa,

I don't think you are bitter --maybe rightfully angry, righteously indignant,and probably sad to your core -- but not bitter. I think many of us eventually realize that change with Southern Baptists will only come if those people are ever able to admit that there is as much evil in the church as there is out of the church; and that looking, acting, and smelling good does not make you good.

I realy liked what OC said. Especially, "They guard their own fragile egos because their souls are running on empty and can't take yet another hit knowing that they are less in heart than what Jesus requires.
They are cowards. They fear the understanding which will give them compassion, which in turn will give them pain. And they run from the pain like sissies". I very much agree with those words.

PG

Junkster said...

I'm Not Bitter
(to the tune of "I Feel Pretty")

I'm not bitter,
No, not bitter,
I'm not bitter, no transmitter of spite!
Not embittered
By all those who against me fight.

I'm not hateful,
No, not hateful,
Oh, it's grateful, not hateful, I feel!
I'm so grateful
That I've more than survived my ordeal!

See the heavy hitter in that mirror there--
Who can that amazing one be?
Not a fritterer,
Not a sitter down,
Not a bitter one,
Not a quitter -- me!

I'm a winner
With such inner
Strength I didn't know was in me!
I'm not bitter
'Cuz I'll win -- just you wait and watch and see!

gmommy said...

Bravo to Junkster!!!!!!
He's so clever :)

Anonymous said...

You sound like a voice crying in the wilderness much like John the Baptist. The ax may not be far from the root of the SBC tree.

Jeri said...

Hey, just wait until they call you a lesbian. That's the favorite accusation of the Independent Baptists

Christa Brown said...

Junkster: I love it! Now I'm gonna be singing "I'm not bitter" to "I feel pretty" the whole day long! It's great! Thanks so much for lightening my day!

Elisabeth said...

OC, you said a mouthful!

One of my counselors said to me some of the same things. He said that a lot of people don't want to hear what I say because it makes them uncomfortable. And to hear me would mean they would start to feel my pain. And they are afraid to.

oc said...

Elisabeth,
Your counselor is right. Human nature runs away from pain. But our Lord did not run away from pain, and neither do His disciples. We confront it head on and call it what it is. We bleed when wounded. We cry out to each other when hurt. And we bandage each other's nasty wounds.
But one thing we don't seem to do so well... We don't seem to say I'm sorry. So I will say that to you, my sister. I'm sorry for those who are called my brothers and sisters but have done you wrong. And although I am not of the Catholic faith, I wish there was a way I could do penance for those who have hurt you, but I know it would be an eternity of penance which I could never satisfy. So that doesn't work either. So I will just say...


I love you my sister. I'm here to be a prayer warrior for you.
That's all I have to offer.

But I'm not afraid to be uncomfortable. Not in the least. In fact, I'm quite used to it, and that's exactly where I live. I'm comfortable in the uncomfortable,if that makes any sense. So I'll be your prayer warrior. Love you my sister Elisabeth.
oc.

Anonymous said...

Jeri you mentioned Ind. Baptists. I saw something awhile back about Tim Lee and criticism of seminars dealing with this issue. This is not the one out of Texas is it?

Jeri said...

Yes, it is Evangelist Tim Lee. He tried to prevent the first Conference of the Lambs, which was held at Northside Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, then pastored by Dan Burrell. He contacted Dan and urged him to cancel the conference, and he contacted one of the speakers, Voyle Glover, and urged him not to speak. He then published a semi-coherent accusation against me on the Fundamental forums in which he alleged that I am a hypocrite because I am not a Baptist but was holding a Conference to help Baptist victims in a Baptist church. To this day I still cannot figure out how that makes me a hypocrite.

Evangelist Tim Lee also attended the Southwide Conference held at Trinity Baptist in Jacksonville Florida, made infamous because 23 of its former young people came forward with charges against former pastor Bob Gray for child molesting, and they alleged that current pastor Tom Messer, a deacon for much of that time, knew about it and lied to cover it up. Southwide still held their conference there, after the stiry came out and after Messer refused to openly address the matter before the congregation.Aand Jerry Falwell was there and referred to the grievances of the victims as a "bump in the road". Tim Lee never spoke up for the victims, though he certainly had a prime opportunity to do so there. He has never explained his decision to attend the Conference, and he has defended Messer in the past, though these days he usually keeps his mouth shut about it. But certainly, he has failed to fulfill the role of evangelist in failing to rebuke the corruption at Trinity that has destroyed so many lives and yet remains in church office.

Phyllis Gregory said...

Back to OC -- when you said, "Human nature runs away from pain. But our Lord did not run away from pain, and neither do His disciples. We confront it head on and call it what it is. We bleed when wounded. We cry out to each other when hurt. And we bandage each other's nasty wounds." Surely, you are not talking about Southern Baptists with that statement. They DO NOT bandage each other's wounds -- especially when they are wounds of abuse. They pretend they don't exist.

oc said...

Miss Phyllis,
No Ma'am, not in general. And I am ashamed about that. I was talking about real Christians who live and love and learn and act out the Sermon on the Mount, whether it feels good to us or not.
oc.

gmommy said...

Jeri,
23 victims came forward at a Baptist convention or a "Lambs" convention?????
If a Baptist convention..how were they treated??
Sorry if we've discussed this and I am confused....hard to keep ALL of the horrible revelations in order.

Jeri said...

Sorry--two different things. There was a Lambs Conference in Charlotte NC. The Conference of the Lambs is a conference designed to help victims of clergy abuse in Fundamentalism (primarily Independent Baptist churches) cope with their abuse and deal with it by faith in Christ. Tim Lee tried to prevent that conference.

In a separate incident, 23 former members of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville FL went to the local DA to level charges against former pastor Bob Gray of child molesting. In the aftermath, Jerry Falwell called them a "bump in the road" from the pulpit of Trinity,m during the Southwide Baptist Conference, which was held at Trinity, about five months after Gray was arrested.

Better?

Jeri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeri said...

Let me try again to post this link to the news history of Bob Gray:

http://www.jeriwho.net/lillypad2/
2006/11/bob-gray-of-jacksonville-
florida.html

Sorry it's in three pieces. Paste them as a single line in your browser to read the news history on this evil man and that evil church.

Christa Brown said...

Here's the linked info on the Trinity Baptist Church/Bob Gray case from Jeri's site. (jeri - don't know why the link didn't work in your comment)

And here's my page on the Trinity/Bob Gray case. It's a classic case of long-standing, multiple abuse allegations that were known about and kept quiet by others. And, like Steve Gaines at Bellevue, Tom Messer is still the senior pastor at Trinity.

gmommy said...

Why would we ever go to a Baptist church again???

Tom Messer is as guilty as Bob Gray.

It boggles my mind that people are aware of what Messer knew yet stay in that church.
What truth can come from such a corrupt heart??

Steve Gaines continues to stand in the pulpit and arrogantly yell at people about the horrors of leaving during the invitation, drinking, or not tithing.

A few I have spoken to who still go to BBC are just vaguely aware that SG protected a confessed sexual abuser for almost 7 months.

They are so busy with their new marketing campaign...who has time to concern themselves with deceitful, corrupt Baptist ministers??

Jeri,
You did a fine job of explaining...I just have a hard time keeping straight all the many "incidents" within the Baptist denomination.

And how dare you NOT be a Baptist anymore but still try and minister to victims!!
Thhat's hypocrisy alright!

gmommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christa Brown said...

It's lunacy, isn't it? Jeri is doing the work that Baptist leaders OUGHT to be doing, but aren't, of trying to minister to those who have been so dreadfully wounded within the Baptist faith community. And for THAT, she is vilified. Meanwhile, the Baptist clergy child molesters, cover-uppers, and do-nothing leaders are still much-loved and respected. Oh... but gee whiz... how dare people like us even talk about it. If we do, then we're just ... bitter.

Jeri said...

gmommy, I admit that I have asked that question a lot recently: how could anybody attend a Baptist church? How could anybody pastor a Baptist church and say they are acting in good conscience? The Bible is pretty clear that the radical church autonomy of the Baptists is NOT the way the Christian church was governed in the New Testament.

On the other hand, Christ gave us the analogy of the wheat and the tares. While we can (and should) make people aware of the unaddressed evils in the Baptist denominations, there are Christian people who will not perceive the difference between false teacher and genuine disciple. They won't understand the difference between false and real until the day God sends the false teachers to hell.

This is spiritual warfare, and we do rely on weapons that are not of this world. And this is a long battle. But while so many still prosper from evil in church office, I can say, as in the Charles Shifflett case, that the prayers of God's People did prevail, and that child molesting monster sits in jail now, even after the local government set him free.

We are definitely attacking that hideous strength, and we've entered a fortress of its power to do so.

Anonymous said...

There were at times that Paul did mention names of those who abandoned him like Demas and warned those who were a threat like Alexander the metal worker.

Phyllis Gregory said...

gmommy,

Not just why would we ever attend a SBC church again -- how can we attend church at all? I finally gave up. I missed more than I attended. I thought if I tried another denomination it would help -- wrong!! Basically I do not trust many church people (especially the church Lady type) and I trust no church leaders. I really hate that I feel that way. Yet at the same time, I feel that maybe for the first time in my life I am being totally honest concerning my feelings about church -- I don't like it.

Also, gmommy, what you said about Steve Gaines preaching against drinking and people not tithing -- that brings back so many memories of churches I attended in OK and here in Memphis. Awful, awful memories of living the pure life of a Pharisee and being totally judgmental of those who were not just like me. Makes me very sad to think of how I once was.

Church membership and the Christian life are not synonymous. Being squeaky clean morally and being Christ-like are not one and the same. Abstaining from alcohol does not make you spiritual. Never missing SS, TU, W night services, Bible School, or Tuesday night visitation does not make you a spiritual giant.

Look at the men and women in the Bible who were/are considered giants in the faith. You know, most of them would have been kicked out of the local SBC church because they did not fit the mold of the good Christian.

Oh well. gmommy, I agree with all you said.

PG

Anonymous said...

The Truth. What is the truth. It's so huge. And it's all in me. "they have many pieces" he and God have the rest. But all the others don't know. For they have twisted my truth and turned them into lies for their benifit. And there truth, they have swept it under the carpet. My truth is that I am afraid. People around don't know what the others have and continue to put me thru. I don't know how I've survived this long. I am still so tied up inside. My stomach is ever twisting knots and this hole just hurts. I just want to scream it outloud. I have to continue to follow Gods will , with the way he is going to handle things. "they"are evil ....

Christa Brown said...

Anon 10:11 - Welcome here. I hope this blog and the StopBaptistPredators.org website may at least help to let you know that you aren't alone.

"I am still so tied up inside. My stomach is ever twisting knots and this hole just hurts. I just want to scream it outloud."
There are many who read this blog who will understand how you feel.

gmommy said...

"they" are most definitely evil, anon.

Anonymous said...

Junk, How perfect! I will be singing it all day, too.

Bitter, gossip, hateful, unforgiving and divisive are just a few words that come to mind that they use.

My contention is that really do view their 'ministry' or 'church' as more important than individuals within that sphere. This is a self serving position packaged to look pious.

I have heard it so many times, "People are getting saved here". As if this negates ignoring blatent sin in the Body. As if that negates 1 Corin 5 and 1 Tim 3. (among other scripture)

Personally, I do not think they are followers of Christ. (GASP) I believe this from a reading of the whole pericope of scripture. Just a reading of Matthew 5 should put an end to any speculation on that score.

When we see folks rally around and protect abusers (even from conviction or a maximum sentence!)and call the victims bitter and unforgiving then we know their understanding of scripture is completely out of whack.

Lydia

Phyllis Gregory said...

Dear anon / Sept 1 / 10:11 P.M.

I am so sorry for what you have suffered. I am especially sorry for "People around don't know what the others have and continue to put me thru. I don't know how I've survived this long. I am still so tied up inside." You can email me anytime if you want to talk:
bill2phil@bellsouth.net
I will be here for you as I am sure others will be also. The journey to healing is very difficult especially if you are still surrounded by those who wounded you or who supported the one who wounded you. My prayers are with you. Please hang in there and don't give up.

Phyllis

Christa Brown said...

Phyllis: Thanks for your compassionate outreach, and your words are wise ones:
"The journey to healing is very difficult especially if you are still surrounded by those who wounded you or who supported the one who wounded you."