Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Elders Meeting: Bullet Points

Okay, here I engage in a bit of coloring, because in this post I hope to extract the most pertinent items from the elders' presentation. These are the points I think need to click with some folks. They involve offenses and disputed claims.
(You can read my bare-bones notes in the previous post here.)

-- The consistent and persistent stance of the elders was to keep Dr. Foster at BCC. Their efforts throughout the process were designed to prevent his leaving.

-- Examples of Dr. Foster's abuse include the berating of employees, the reference to a former minister using profanity, withdrawing insight and cooperation when leadership was most needed, habitually lacking self control in matters of anger and patience, belitting Randy Thompson publically and mercilessly, haranguing Randy Thompson in the waiting room while Thompson's wife is undergoing cancer surgery, holding the operational functions of the church hostage, making operational decisions without consultation or notice, erratic behavior in meetings. Among other things. And including unrepentance for the spirit provoking all of this.

-- The first person to mention quitting was Dr. Foster, who approached a church in Austin in 2004 for a pastoral position.

-- The second people to mention quitting were the Fosters, who abruptly quit during a meeting with Randy Holland where he only hoped to express concern about the hiring of Lindsay Foster.

-- Dave Fleming, the guy catching flak for being a "heretic," was first hired by Dr. Foster as his personal advisor. The church assumed relationship with Fleming at Dr. Foster's recommendation.

-- Foster repeatedly confirmed previous promises to quit BCC.

-- Foster drafted the by-laws himself.

-- Foster appointed the original elder board. The current practice of appointing elders works functionally with Foster appointing nominees and the elders voting on them. They'e never not approved a Foster nominee.
Essentially, every elder, current and former, was selected by Dr. Foster.

-- Foster himself changed church governance from congregational to elder-led because he believed it was more biblical. The current system is Foster's design.

-- The elders wanted Foster to have an honorable exit not to be dishonest but to keep from having to share all of these problems about Dr. Foster with the public. The very thing they are being accused of doing -- destroying Foster's reputation -- was the very thing they had been trying to prevent all along. It was Foster's actions that required full disclosure on the part of the elders.

-- The first person to put a no-compete clause in a separation agreement was Dr. Foster. In addition, he was the first to submit a separation agreement in the form of a legal document. The elders' initial offer was on a personal letter.

-- Foster was informed of his imminent dismissal the day before Friday. He chose termination, not resignation, thereby opting for churchwide conflict.

-- Foster was informed an official letter would be sent by courier to his house 24 hours before he received it. He was not "blindsided" the arrival of the letter.

Those are my bullet points. Reflections and fuller commentary coming tomorrow.



At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Jay said...

Jared, thank you for your balanced reporting on this situation. Many of us in Nashville are praying for the brokenness at BSS, and asking God to make something good from a bad situation.

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is unfathomable that anyone in their right mind to hear that explanation wouldn't be satisfied, although saddened with the dismissal of Dr. Foster. Lay off the Kool-aid folks.

At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Sharon said...

Thank you so much for your excellent summary. I am a member of BCC and attended three church services this past weekend and then went to Red Caboose Park to listen to Dr. Foster. God was in the services I attended at BCC. My personal opinion was that God was not a part of what I heard at Red Caboose but I wanted to go with an open mind and trust the Lord to help me discern the truth. I attended the cottage meeting on Tuesday night. I'm thankful for these Godly elders working to restore the church. There is no doubt in my mind that they have had to make a difficult decision to restore God's church. I'm proud to have them as my Elders.


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