Tuesday, August 08, 2006

An Oldie but Goodie

When God's people band together, even people who may not affirm their faith yet, but anyone who will band together in community, and bow down and humble themselves before God, something amazing happens. . .
If you're frustrated about what to do, about what's going on with you, maybe the first and the best thing you can do is bow on your knee and humble yourself before God and admit your powerlessness and plead for His mercy and grace and for His strength and power to abound in your life and our land.

That's from a blog post by David Foster in September 2005.


At 11:21 AM, Blogger judas icarus said...

I really wish more people would go back and review much of what David Foster has "taught" or "spoken"....

I, and I've said it virgorously and often, believe that he is a borrower... not an innovator or originator or the things he has brought to the public pulpit.... like so many that do what he does.... speak, preach and write....

But, my point is this:

Do as I say, not as I do... is one of the most common traps that those in authority fall into.... perhaps they can't help it... I don't know....

I do know that none of us are immune to it.... but I have a hard time with people that seem to be oblivious to it... and give sanctioning to behavior that is unbecoming of anyone who sits in a leadership position.... and whose skewered morale authority and unChrist-like attitude are considered only "small potatoes" issues... if the person in question has charisma and speaks well...

David Foster is one of many who have fallen prey to this very harmful and hypocritical stance....

Do as I say, not as I do.... equals calamity.... especially in a church. I don't have to prove my point.... it's been proven for me... over the past several weeks, months and years at BCC.

Thanks for pointing folks to commentary that comes from the horses mouth, Jared.... and, woudn't you know, there's much more available.

Kind regards,

C. Evan Leonard

At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Michele Jenkins said...

I'm just wondering whenever I scan this blog, If Jared and Judas and all these other people that are taking their time and energy to point fingers at what David Foster has done, if any of them were in the room when any of it happened. I don't know how you all got so judgemental. You are like little gods who seem to think you know everything- every thought, every word, everything everyone has done. Wow....to know so much. I'm just wondering when all the logs will come out of your own eyes- sure spending a lot of energy and time on other's mistakes.

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Jared said...

Michele, take a look at all the things I've posted on this site. If you're honest, you'll see I've spent comparatively little time talking about David Foster. And when I have, not all of it has been negative. (Feel free to visit the "Why I Like Dr. Foster" post, if you want.)

Do you think everyone is lying? Everybody? Elders, staff, etc. All lying? Lionel Cartright, whom Dr. Foster himself said was his best friend, is lying?
You don't have to have been in the room to see that from a wide body of witnesses and a wide documentation of abuse and misbehavior, that Dr. Foster has a problem.

I'm spending a lot of time and energy because our church deserves it. I'm sorry if you think that effort unworthy.

Btw, why is it wrong for me to point out the mistakes of Dr. Foster but okay for you to point out mine? Aren't you judging my heart?

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Michele Jenkins said...

Everybody? I know 2 staff members who don't feel the same way. Judging your heart? No. I am judging that you are nauseatingly acting like you know it all. Yes, I believe you have to have been in the room, present, for yourself, to have heard and know it all.
I never said who I believe is right and who I believe is wrong. I in fact, think that they are all wrong, and cleaning house is the best option. I see one other elder has flown the coop.

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Michele Jenkins said...

On a sidenote, I would love it if all attention to the talkbcc forum would cease- all links, etc. Those people on there are mostly name calling (Matt had several words for DF) and I find that amazing, seeing as the whole issue with Foster was supposedly anger and namecalling. So why are we promoting websites where hypocritical BCC members are doing the same? That WILL tear apart the church.

At 2:40 PM, Blogger Jared said...

I am judging that you are nauseatingly acting like you know it all.

So it's okay to judge some things, not others? I'm confused. It's wrong for me to say what Dr. Foster did was wrong; it's okay for you to say what I'm doing is wrong. It's questionable if a guy has a history with a wide variety of people of abuse; it's way out of line for a guy to talk about that history.
Great balance.

Yes, I believe you have to have been in the room, present, for yourself, to have heard and know it all.

So they are all lying, I guess. Ohh-kay.
Btw, this sort of proof-need would basically end our court system as we know it.

I see one other elder has flown the coop.

If you're talking about Larry Hall, he stepped down after receiving email threats from Dr. Foster's advisor. He has publicly stated his support for the decision.

As for your sidenote, I agree the TalkBCC Forum is disgusting. I am not promoting it any more than I'm promoting Dr. Foster's sites. I link to them as informational resources, but I will be honest in saying I've considered delinking the forum and still may do so. I have also privately messaged someone about altering his language there.

At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Michele Jenkins said...

You are right. I probably am judging. But as I said, I am not saying that David Foster was right. I am saying, I think they ALL are wrong. Wrong in the attitudes and wrong in the decisions and wrong in the way it was all handled. But it's like it is a contest on here, to see how much we can say the elders did right, and how much we can say Foster did wrong. Let's face it. They ALL screwed up, one way or the other. I never said anyone was lying. I DO think exaggeration comes about, on all ends, when things get hot and things get out in the open. People want to have others be on their 'side' so they embellish. It's human nature.
As for the court system- you were never called to be on the jury. I wasn't either. Remember? That's why because of that, I don't trust anyone involved. It will take time for me to trust any of them again. Actually I am not talking about Larry Hall. I knew about him. I am talking about Tom Parrish. If you go to the church website under About BCC and governance, the elders are listed. Tom Parrish is not on there. As far as I am concerned, I think they have all done their job. I would like to see them all step down and start over.

At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Michele Jenkins said...

I should have also added, that in my opinion, which no one asked me, but if a LARGE forum that was set up like a presidential debate, where Fosters were on one side, and elders were on the other, and the congregation could have asked questions by submitting them in writing, and a mediator had been there to throw anyone unruly out and to control the conversation- and a recorder would have been on to record for people who missed it- and it would have gone however long it needed to- and the whole thing would have come out in one swoop, and both sides would have had the opportunity to speak in the same setting- if all that had happened- then I might be more satisfied. But It didn't. As far as I am concerned, that is everyone's fault. I love Dave, but he did the bylaws where we didn't have a vote and that was his error. I know and respect 4 elders, but I believe small cottage meetings are ridiculous because the stories get diluted and changed up and all that jazz. So no, I don't buy it all. None of it. Bits and pieces of everything yes, but the whole thing- nope.

At 3:51 PM, Blogger Jared said...

They all got together and put their careers, livelihoods, and reputations on the line for something they all made up.
Fair enough.

I trust you've been heard.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Michele Jenkins said...

I'm not sure anywhere in my post, where you would think I would ever think they made it up. You are reading what you want to read. Let me be very clear here. I believe ALL Parties involved, did some things that were detrimental to each other and to the church and to leadership. I do not doubt that Foster has had anger issues. I do not doubt that the elders just made a quick decision. BUT I always know, it takes two to tango. I believe all sides messed up, in various ways. It would be nice if you would hear that, instead of putting words in my mouth.

At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Nathan said...

Again and again I see the idea of a large forum between David and the Elders.

If evidence presented is correct, the communication between both parties wasn't good in a meeting room. How is it going to look in an auditorium ?

The idea that we are going to mimic a political debate in a Church is worldly and foolish.

Michelle, If you carefully look at the evidence you see a pattern of obfuscation, denial, and threats from David Foster.

+ The Elders didn't threaten to walk away from BCC.

+ The Elders didn't get a fair say in the Crazy Campaign, Dave Fleming, or a healthy check and balance of the Foster's expense account, nepotistic hirings, etc. All this at a time when the church was going through a financial strain.

+ The Elders didn't deliver, through a proxy, that they would threaten the Foster's financial future in court.

+ The Elders didn't run over to a public park and yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater on Sunday morning. In front of news cameras.

Again, the idea that the elders and staff just got together and embellished stories about the Foster's is basically calling them liars.

As for this blog, just don't read it. If you always equate knowledge of scripture and inquiry as judgementalism then you only stunt your own growth.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger judas icarus said...


You seem intent on making points that seem very irrelevant at this point. David Foster had adequate time and more than enough people to sit down and give "his" side.

He knows everything that was brought up as evidence that he was unfit to pastor BCC any longer.

Why hasn't he put more into his defense? Could it be that he can't defend himself?

Why isn't there a blog (outside of WLYDAP.com where the evidence can be disputed by David Foster or those in his stead?

If you read his open letter - he says go on, move on.... he accepts the decision the elders made.

Why can't you? You seem to think it all still hangs on the elders and Foster getting together and publicly making charges and disputing charges. What would that change? It seems that it would only make you and a few others feel better.

Bottom line here is this.... if we do not pay heed to history... we are doomed to repeat it. And, in an effort to understand, discuss and examine what has happened.... including aspects about the person central to this drama... feelings, thoughts, opinions and perspectives are being shared here at this blog.

I get the impression you just want it shut down... so no one can say anything about any of this.... and if that is the case.... you do have another option....

Don't come to this blog... don't read this blog.... turn this channel off....

No one will be mad at you because you refuse to listen to these various comments....

You seem to be mad because people will....

And you have every right to start your own blog... maybe call it.... Everybody Was Wrong And Here's Why.... : - )

I, and many others, probably would be more than willing to come by from time to time and share my thoughts about that....

Give Jared a break, okay.... he's trying to take this beyond the dismissal of David Foster... and he's doing a great job of that. I, and many others, have been allowed to comment on how we feel about what he is presenting. Ain't America great???

And, Michele.... yes, I was in the room many times with David Foster... when I saw him do and say things that led, utimately, to his dismissal. Interestingly enough... it was as far back as 1999.... not just recently.

So, if that is part of your pre-requisite.... then, I qualify... but this blog and this issue is not predicated on meeting your pre-requisites. Again, start your own blogosphere. I believe you've got the time and energy to really express how you think EVERYONE WAS WRONG AND NO ONE SHOULD BE SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING OR ANYONE!

But, please know... that a I support your right to express your feelings, thoughts and opinions... here and elsewhere... whether or not you agree with me and my comments. Okay? : - )

And... what's even more amazing is... I am a member of Little Gods Anonymous.... how'd you know? Have you come to the meetings..... did I see you there.... c'mon... 'fess up... you've been attending, too.... haven't you??????

Kind regards,

C. Evan Leonard

At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Michele Jenkins said...

Where is the documentation that all of this happened exactly as you say Nathan? Knowledge of scripture? Matthew 18 says take it to the church. Oh, and please don't tell me what to do.

At 4:39 PM, Blogger judas icarus said...


You are letting your sour grapes spill all over everyone else here....

No one is telling you what to do.... just suggesting what you can do if you are so distressed with commentary here.

And, you can wave Matthew 18 all you want.... it is being taken out of context by the "reinstate Foster because he was not brought before the church" crew.... which I am now convinced you are a member of... and that's okay. Really.

But, you are missing the insubordination/work/job/appointment aspect... that is not only about the "sin" factor....

The sin of Foster's unrepentant nature and abuse is really not covered by Matthew 18 in the context of the governance of BCC... according to the by-laws... that David Foster was instrumental in creating.

You are too little, too late.... and what you are offering/suggesting as being fair or necessary.... David Foster has already signed off on....

Read his open letter again.... and then..... read it one more time before you go to sleep each night for the next few weeks...

And, then pray the serenity prayer.... okay....?

You'll be alright.... everything and everyone is going to be alright....

You know why....? God is in control. Not you... not me... not David Foster.....


Kind regards,

C. Evan Leonard

At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Nathan said...

Where was a precedent for Matt 18 in David's handling of many other staff members then ?

Where was it a precedent when people asked him to teach the Bible in midweek services ( at least ) and he told them to find another Church ?

Where is the verse for "my way or the highway?"

See David didn't use scripture to guide much of anything in his dealings with Elders/ staff.

It's not like BCC was a model of the New Test.Church Michelle. It was and may still be similar to a business in terms of operation.

At 6:19 PM, Blogger judas icarus said...

I'm hoping that this schism proves to be the birthing of something less corporate and more biblical.... and long term....

And, folks, the Bible is all about new, old and in between Christians.... and how they all fit into God's ultimate plan....

And it's full of methods and practices and instructions on how to do church and (life) with each other....

And, the principal teacher in the New Testament is Jesus Christ.... (wonder why that is?)

So, why is it that it takes a David Foster to re-teach the teachings of Jesus Christ... to insure BCC grows or furthers the ultimate vision of the church.... initiated by David Foster... which if you read the church statements.... it's all about Jesus... or it's supposed to be....

And, not to be morose.... but say David had been taken out of the equation via an accident or natural causes.... (which will eventually happen for all of us)....

What then? Where would/does a church like BCC go? Does it close it's doors? Bust up the sidewalks? Condemn the building?

Puh-lease... people.....

This is about God... this is about Jesus Christ.... and for anyone to believe that it would, could or should ever be an issue of whether or not the teachings in the Bible, the teachings of Christ.... must and need to be filtered through a David Foster (or anyone pastor), exclusively.... is incredibly naive and immature.

Which, I honestly feel, has become evident in many of those that are so vehemently opposed to church or life without a David Foster. Many who say David is responsible for them having a relationship with Jesus. (Well, you're all either co-dependent or you can't separate the two.... I'm not sure!)

I'm, personally, more concerned about a church or life without God.

Man, oh, man.... are we debating, discussing, opinionating about something that is temporary... or eternal here?

I find much of what I'm hearing.... from the pro-Foster crew.... the don't cast stones folks.... the everybody was wrong consortium... to be amazingly void of any concern for the big picture.... the down the road a generation or two from now picture.... the eternal picture....

Maybe I'm guilty of being very pointed and cynical and glib about some things..... but I'm dead serious about the implications and the ramifications of what happens at BCC NOW! Because there is a chance here to set the tone for the next decade or two, maybe more... not just the next pastor or two.... who will naturally have a limited lifetime..... but BCC, as a church.... has much more than that... or it could.

Okay... I'm about out of keyboards.... I've worn several out over the past few weeks....!

Can everyone see past their own noses when they really look at what has happened and what it all means? I wonder.... it seems that what we really may have here is.... short term and long term thinkers.... and that's an interesting dilemma.

Kind regards,

C. Evan Leonard

At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MJ - - -
If it was so important that you and the congregation have a say in important matters - - why
did you wait for a crisis
to happen to object to how the church elders operated ? wasn't it your duty to make sure your church would properly handle an important "issue" before it happened ?
I believe anyone who objects to the "system" after the fact - - - is guilty themselves of not being more pro-active, not
asking questions, finding out more , anything to vocalize that YOU , the
congregation should be in charge ?!
I'm so tired of "the elders didn't handle this properly" excuse. Take
your marbles and go home, if you don't want to play anymore. The rest of us want to stay and make BCC better - - and I would hazard to guess that nearly everyone of us - - believes the "system" and
the "rules " can, and will be improved on. Life is
always a learning process. The elders did not know as they entered
into their "process of change" where each small step would lead them next. They did the best they could with the information at hand each step of the way. It's so great to have 20/20 vision now isn't it ?? I'm sure
the elders wished they had had it while they were in the midst of the 18mos firestorm. They also did not know that DF would dig in his heels and be the major roadblock that he was - kicking and screaming the whole way - as they tried to affect change - - which he could have been such a big part of - - and the torchbearer - but no,
he chose a different path. so be it, but it's not the elders fault.
just another case of let's not take responsibility
for our actions......

this is the fairest, most open, most challenging,
most intellectually stimulating blog on this subject anywhere in this city - - -

if you want to whine,
go back to the talkbcc forum,
I'm not being rude,
just showing some toughlove ,,,,

if you want to stay,
be fair, be open minded,
be critical, but be fair
about what you're criticizing.

one question - if you dare answer - - how long
have you gone to BCC ??????

If you haven't gone to BCC
at least 5 years or more,
you might want to err on the side of caution,
as we have had a tremendous
rate of turnover in staff, pastors, and yes, people
like you and me, over the
17 years of our existence.
and most of it can be traced back to DF.

I've stayed as long as I have - not because of DF -
but because of the tremendous bonds of friendships I have formed here.

also, you might want to be cautious and more knowledgeable about who,
the man, you are defending,
there may be another shoe
to drop in the future

At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Michele Jenkins said...

OK folks. Apparently you absolutely do not know me, and you absolutely do not "Get" what I am saying. So I will make this short, sweet, and be done with it. There is nothing that can be done about how the situation was handled, now. I simply said what I thought would be a better idea, is for everyone to hear all sides, at one time. I have talked to elders personally, and I have talked to others personally on the 'other' side if you will. And the story just seems to change a little bit each time. This is my problem. I actually sent out a letter to several people saying the congregation had NO right to vote, and that was David Foster's doing. I am not the naive one who thinks that Dave Foster will ever be back on BCC's stage, nor do I necessarily think he should be. I am not sure where you get that I am completely defending him and his actions. I'm not. I am saying, you are right, BCC was NOT run as a New Testament church, and after all of this that has happened, yes, I have opened my eyes to see why and how it should have been, and I hope that that changes in the future. What my point IS is that I think unless you were there, front and center, you are ASSuming a lot of stuff about everyone!! And if you WERE there, fine, I concede and I am sorry for any pain that was caused you. Like I said before, my vote is to clean house. Of the elders and of the Fosters, and start BCC on a brand new chapter.
Peace out.
PS I have been a member for about 4 years, and was involved in Kids Place, Crazy Campaign, led Conexus Groups, Womens Ministry, etc. I know people and love people from all sides. "Sides" is something I would like to steer from. "Love and forgiveness and prayers" is something I would like to go to. And anything rude, or name calling, or unkindness, I do not appreciate. That is why i am not, and will not, be a part of the TalkBCC forum.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger judas icarus said...

Fair enough, Michele....

No one should or can argue those points... expressed in that way....

As far as implementing some of the things you are suggesting... is another whole fish to fry....

Cleaning house and taking names... ironically... will be the job of the current and future leadership at BCC.

And.... it will include a board of elders....

I appreciate your seasons of volunteering... if thanks have never been given! : - )

Kind regards,

C. Evan Leonard

At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Michele Jenkins said...

Thanks Evan. I do believe in having a board of elders, I just think I have also learned through this that the congregation should have some voice. I am still uncertain what that voice should be, but it seems like it should be there.

At 4:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate you. and I appreciate you staying here with us to be possibly another viewpoint. I also have been an active volunteer for 10plus years. What I am concerned about in your
"take" on all this , is that just because you weren't in the room when
things happened - -- you
therefore don't "believe" ?
I think that is unfair, and unrealistic. You have to weigh the evidence and come down with a "judgment" in your own mind, based on that evidence, and yes, on the
credibility and voracity
of the "witnesses".
I also want to see the congregation be more involved. I also want to see BCC move forward more as a NT church, Bible carrying one in fact.
no more slips of paper.
(my own fault for falling for that) - - It's the Bible for me from now on.
I extend my hand to you

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Michele Jenkins said...

Thanks Anonymous. The reason I don't just "believe" is because I have talked to an elder personally and then gotten all of the elders take together- and some of the versions even there are different. I directly asked Randy Thompson what happened that night, and he never answered, although he answered all the other emails I sent him. So when I hear different stories from the same 'side' I have to wonder. I am also upset at everyone involved about the Crazy Campaign. I don't think we even began to know what we needed to, to make an informed decision about giving, and for months we were told we would see new plans and we never did. I actually just asked for my money back for me to get over it, that way I can use it for something that I know will be life changing and God honoring. And yes, I am fully aware that the elders expected to raise $5 mil and that David Foster wanted to raise $15 mil- or so the story goes- which I COULD believe that- but I just don't think any of it went down like was expected.

At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Nels said...

My observations:
I've been to two meetings, 1 week apart. I didn't notice the story changing. I think they we're able to go through the timeline a little better, and knew what typical questions had been and answered them before they were asked.

Also, at the second meeting several folks who seemed to be from the "Foster camp" spoke out of turn (let them finish their answer before you start grilling them again), and generally tried to twist what the elders were saying. (...come with an open heart...)

I was not "in the room" with Dave at any point (save Sundays with a thousand other people), but I still think there was a problem judging by essentially an entire church-worth of staff and congregation leaving BCC (Cross Point).

I will agree that some of the moves the elders made probably could have done better. Their ultimate action, however, was done prayerfully and over the course of quite some time. This was NOT a quick decision, and they attempted negotiations to keep Dave at BCC in a speaking role.

It's quite possible that Randy T. still has a hard time dealing with what has happened. There are graciously few things in my history that I don't want to revisit... at least not now. I hate to compare, but there are pleanty of sex-crime victims that don't come forward. Dave is not accused of a sex-crime, to be clear, but let's keep in mind that some subjects are hard for people to discuss.

At last Monday night's meeting, the elders did say they want to go to quarterly business meetings with the church, and have much more transparency and congregational input as far as how elders are selected.

I believe that everything happens according to God's plan, and this terribleness is not excluded. Therefore, I continue to pray to learn what is being taught. I think it might be the need for us to become a more tightly interwoven community.


At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Michele Jenkins said...

At last Monday night's meeting, the elders did say they want to go to quarterly business meetings with the church, and have much more transparency and congregational input as far as how elders are selected.

"now that is the best sentence I have heard in a while."

At 12:34 PM, Blogger judas icarus said...

A post from DF's WordPress blog - Jul 22 06....

"Doing the right thing is seldom easy. Accepting responsibility for my life is not easy. Loving the people who are set on my demise isn’t easy, but it is right. Let’s be honest with ourselves and others, easy doesn’t do it and it never did! Here is the truth, living for God isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Loving your family isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Standing for truth isn’t easy or popular, but it is always right and the fruit is abundant and the dividends are eternal."

What I find most interesting is this comment perched within the paragraph:

"Loving the people who are set on my demise isn’t easy, but it is right."

I think it's incredibly revealing that he seems to believe there are people (and who is he referring to?) that are set on his demise.

All I know is this... if you read through much of DF's blogs... you will see much about who and what he is... and what his priorities are regarding his "legacy". I find him to be very focused on that aspect of his life. What people will think of him, how he'll be remembered and whether or not he will have made a major impact on the world.

I firmly believe that his perspective on repentance is skewered by concerns of people set on his demise... conspiracies to blight his legacy and a complete sense of himself being among great leaders that "rub people wrong" or are "committed to excellence", are free to have "passionate anger" and etc.... and that's just acceptable.... like it or lump it!

That leaves very little room for saying things... clearly... and to those he's slighted or wronged.... like "I'm sorry", "I was wrong", "Forgive me" and "I repent".

Don't ever expect to hear those things from folks like Bill Clinton, the ENRON crew... and a host of other top-level executives who don't seem to mind coming across as "above the masses".

And I guess it all depends on what your definition of "is"... is..... and/or your definition of what "pastor".... is....! : - )

Kind regards,

C. Evan Leonard


Post a Comment

<< Home