Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Accountability


The first time I heard him was a teenager at the Perth Bible Church in Amsterdam, New York. His name was Dr. Bob Gray and he was the pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. At the time I was junior in high school and serving a suspension from school. I wasn't allowed to attend the day chapels, but I did come to the evening services. The first night he spoke on "God Still Uses People Who Make Mistakes." Now for a kid who had just gotten into trouble and was being told by certain people that I would never be of any use to the Lord, that message impacted my life like few sermons ever had. That night God melted my cold heart.


Our church many of the well known fundamentalist preachers of the era stand in the pulpit but Bob Gray was different. He was down to earth and real. I liked his preaching style. I liked him. I considered going to his college, Trinity Baptist College, but eventually went to Hyles / Anderson College.


I had a few of his preaching tapes. One of those tapes I treasure to this day entitled "Highways, Hedges, and Buses" which always seems to renew my commitment to the Bus Ministry.


The Fundamental Movement, which I am a member of, has had long heritage of standing for positions which are seemingly to others unpopular or unimportant. Many within "my" camp can preach long and loud about the sins of other camps and chastise other men by name for doing "wicked" things like replacing the church organ with a keyboard or not following a particular standard in the same manner in which they practice it. Yet, there seems to be a silence to name men within our movement who sin. I don't mean make a mistake. I mean sin. Grossly sin in moral disobedience.


On Friday, May 18, 2006 at the age of 80, Dr Bob Gray was arrested on charges of sexual battery against minor age children during the lates 60's through the mid 80's. I couldn't believe it. As I researched the articles on line and watched news footage it was clear that not only are there multiple accusers but apparently in 1992 the leadership within Trinity Baptist Church asked Dr Gray to step down. Things have been kept pretty silent but now the whole world is watching.


I believe in local church autonomy. If a pastor sins or mishandles himself then I believe it's between him, God, and his congregation. When a pastor crosses a line into a moral failure that also violates the law then it is no longer a simple matter of church discipline. Dr. Gray has been charged with molesting girls between the ages of 6 and 9 years old over two decades.


As Fundamentalists we like to claim autonomy on these issues. "Let Trinity handle it. It's a local church matter," is the usual montra. Really? Then why do we chide Pensacola Christian College for their lavish campus or Jerry Falwell for becoming a southern Baptist or churches who incorporate a "praise & worship" style of music into their local churches? Aren't they autonomous, too?


Recently, I wrote a letter to Dr. Shelton Smith of the Sword of the Lord with regard to this....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Dear Brother Smith,

I am writing to share with you a concern that weighs heavily on my heart. I have been sickened over the past forty eight hours as I have read newspaper accounts and watched TV coverage of the events surrounding the arrest of Dr. Bob Gray of Jacksonville, Florida.

Now, I realize this is in the early stages of the investigation and the media seems to have a flair for sensationalism which isn’t always anchored in unbiased truth but it does not change the fact that these are serious allegations. There was apparently an issue or issues which led the leadership at Trinity Baptist Church to “discipline” Dr Gray and seek his resignation in 1992.

I am not writing to you as an attack on Bob Gray or Tom Messer or Trinity Baptist Church. Again, these are still just allegations but the list of victims seems to be growing and one must assume that where there’s smoke there is at least a small fire.

Just a week ago I was sitting in a restaurant with a well known preacher within our camp. We were discussing the known scandals within our camp that get whispered about quietly at tables in preachers’ fellowships but never shouted from the pulpit. I told that pastor that I was sick and tired of attending conferences where many in our camp ride their high moral horses about peripheral issues and point their guns while thundering the sins of Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and pedophile priests while remaining deafening silent on sins which “lieth at the door” within our own camp. Now, we have a mess in Jacksonville. Yes, I said “we” because this affects us all.

The typical independent, fundamental Baptist approach to a scandal like this is first to deny it. I understand that. I truly do. None of us wishes to believe that people we loved and admired and followed could be capable of such sinful acts, especially against children. Then when it is realized there may be merit and teeth to the charges we ignore it. I mean we’ll remove Bob Gray’s picture from our websites, remove his name from our missionary lists, reprint conference flyers that once featured his name as a guest speaker, and gather up all of his preaching tapes. Neither his name nor anything about him will ever be mentioned from the pulpit in any conference where he once spoke. It will almost be as if he never existed.

Dr. Smith, there is a better way… a more biblical way. Let’s face it. I mean let’s address it. At one time Dr Rice used to print the names of southern Baptist officers who owned properties which they rented out to the owners of liquor stores, movie houses, and taverns. How much more accountable should we hold those who claim to be called by God to an office that features a list of character and moral requirements that includes mandates like “blameless” and above reproach?

I know, we’re independent and one of the Baptist distinctives is autonomy. But Bob Gray was not simply a local pastor. He held a national platform. One of the providers of that platform was the Sword of the Lord.

His actions reflect on not only all independent Baptist churches but the Body of Christ as a whole. If can we write about Jerry Falwell changing his standards at Liberty or Dave Bouler changing the music and special speakers at Southwide then certainly someone who has broken God’s moral law and violated the innocence of children should also have his name mentioned.

There can be no lasting repentance or revival until there is accountability.

The Sword of the Lord, which at one time held the ear of the vast majority of fundamentalists in America, needs to take the lead on this issue. At the very least there needs to be an article informing people of the charges. You can encourage your readers to pray for all of those involved from Dr Gray to Trinity Baptist to the alleged victims. You can also encourage them to pray that the truth, whichever side it may fall on, be revealed and justice served. If he is found guilty and the allegations are in true, then Dr Gray needs to be publicly rebuked and not only by Trinity but also within the pages of the Sword.

“Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” I Timothy 5:19-20

Yes, I love Bob Gray. He was truly one of my heroes of the faith. He had a great influence on my life when I was teenager. His sinful actions do not make the truths he preached any less true but it certainly does bring reproach to the cause of Christ.

In the past there have been men who got away with adultery and worse. I realize that ultimately they will face God but in the meantime innocent people have been hurt and lives have been shattered and destroyed. I am for the local church. I am for local church governing itself. But the local church cannot properly govern if it does not know what it is never told.

Dr. Smith, there is nothing which can be done about the sins of the past. However, there is something that can be done about this sin. We have no right to wave our Bibles or call ourselves the hope of America if we ignore this or simply talk about it quietly in private while pounding the pulpit in public over which preachers are now using movie screens and power point in their services. Funny how the autonomy argument becomes moot when preaching against local churches deciding what kind of music they prefer for their services or which standards they choose to have or not have. Purity is more than a haircut or a dress length. It’s a matter of the heart before God.

If we truly want to see revival then we need more than just preaching that shears the sheep. We need an accounting of the shepherds.

By His Grace,

Marty Braemer

Senior Pastor

follow the story in the news...

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/news-article.aspx?storyid=58052

37 Comments:

Blogger James said...

Thanks Marty for your article on Bob Gray. I'm disappointed too as his book "Highways, Hedges, Busses" was a great motivator for me to be involved in the bus ministry.

It is important for a Pastor to guard himself. And have enough processes and walls in place that he could never be charged with this ... and more importantly NOT commit these sins.

I think it is important, for now, to let the legal process play out. Is it possible that the man is innocent?!

9:46 AM  
Blogger Dan Burrell said...

I can't wait to hear or see Shelton's reply to your letter (assuming there is one.) From Hyles to Bell to Gray and beyond, the last quarter of a century has been a sad litany of scandals, cover-ups, gross immorality and even criminal conduct. Throughout this time, many in the IFB movement have self-righteously condemned all those you mentioned and more. Some of the harshest voices were later revealed to be the biggest offenders.

It's been interesting, that we are so quick to give "our campers" the benefit of the doubt, while we sling venom and invective towards others "outside the camp" who are guilty of far lesser offensives if any offense at all. (Check out the last sentence/question of the commenter before this one.)

Bob Gray's "little secret" has been the source of rumor and those infamous "after conference table talks" for years. If finally took the testimony of some victims and the media to bring it out in the open to be honestly handled.

I believe Tom Messer is a good man and I think he did the right thing in exercising church discipline years ago as one of the first actions that was thrust upon him as he was handed the reins of the Trinity ministry. But let's face it, pastors across this country winked at what was largely known (a moral "indiscretion") and made it possible for him to live away from the victims and exposure in Germany for over a decade. They took him on for support and invited him to speak at their conferences.

There is rarely a man more arrogant than the one who commits a crime and thinks he has gotten away with it. This is the same Bob Gray who chastised the Southwide Baptist Fellowship and the members of Highland Park Baptist Church for clapping with and after music a few years ago, is it not? And yet, such hypocrisy has been a hallmark of the hyper-legalism that has relegated Independent Baptists as a viable voice to a mere shadow of what it once was. Let's criticize others on issues from Bible versions to ladies dress to music styles while we continue to slip into our closet to indulge in some of the grossest and most vile conduct man can conceive in his depraved mind.

Yours is a good post and a thought-provoking post. But I must admit that I'm pessimistic that most of those who still live in that neck of the fundamentalist woods will do much to bring the movement to repentance which is exactly why many of us don't much want to be associated with them anymore.

I write this as a life-long Independent Baptist and theological fundamentalist.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Cameron Cloud said...

Well done, Pastor Marty. As a younger pastor, it has been with great disgust that I have observed the hypocritical denunciations of pastors in other groups over non-essentials. Serious issues like this are largely ignored.

Thanks for your post and your letter to Smith. Please keep us posted on his response.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Jay C said...

Marty-

Thanks for the pointed reminder about the need to biblically address the falls of good men from their ministry.

I would agree with Dan Burrell; issues like this are too often swept away or ignored. We need to address them, or we [rightly] lose all credibility and respect. I can practically hear the condemnation now - Oh, you're that church that tolerated the child-molestor.

How sad this is. We have truly given an opportunity for the enemies of God to blaspheme His name.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Terry Lange said...

In response to dan's comment.

Church discipline was never exercised because the church was never made aware of any of these matters until his arrest. I was a member from 1988-2002 and not one time was public church discipline ever exercised against Dr Gray or anyone else.

Church discipline is not a private matter, but rather a semi-public matter before the entire assembly. If the discipline was given out behind closed doors, then it was not church discipline, but pastoral discipline which does not exist in the Bible.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Don said...

It remains to be seen how all this falls out, but you are absolutely right about the public duty of SoL and others on this matter.

With respect to the comment that those at Trinity "did the right thing", that, too, remains to be seen. As Terry said, no real discipline took place. In addition, if the allegations are true, they are a criminal matter and should have been reported to the authorities as soon as they were made. It is not within the purview of a local church's authority to determine how to dispose of criminal allegations. That is a matter for the state.

If the story is true that the church had some knowledge of these allegations and failed to notify the authorities, they bear guilt in this matter also.

Regards,
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

4:41 PM  
Blogger Joe Whalen said...

Wonderful article. I've asked many of my pastor friends to read it as we sort through what is happening in Jacksonville. Thank you for writing it and sharing it with us.

Terry Lange is correct about the lack of church discipline. We were members at Trinity from '89-'94 and no one was ever brought before the church in a church discipline case.

Further, we were told that God had called Bob Gray to the mission field. There was no mention to us that it was anything other than him wanting to retire and spend the remainder of his life on the mission field of Germany.

Thanks again for the article.

Joe

5:12 PM  
Blogger Dan Pelletier said...

Heard his name. Never met him.

While I really don't understand why or how it has happened, God has allowed me to meet many of the great leaders of the Independent, Fundamental Baptist movement - some from the BJU camp - some from the Sword Camp - some from the Hyles Camp - etc., etc., etc. It has also been my disappointment to meet some who were only great in their own minds.

The truly "great" men of God are humble men, who live holy lives, and are unassuming in their manner. They would never consider themselves to be leaders or "great" men. They really see themselves as being servants of God and servants of His people, and they are shocked that anyone would call them "great."

Any truly great man of God who is guilty of the kinds of sins of which Dr. Gray has been accused would immediately, publicly, and openly confess the sin and willingly take whatever consequences the law demands. He would know that the only way to make things right with God and right with others is to confess and forsake it.

Has Dr. Gray done that? If not, then perhaps he is indeed innocent, and we should be very careful not to disparage his name. If he has not confessed it, and refuses to admit it, then God help him. He has much to answer for at the judgment seat of Christ.

The rest of us should look deeply within our own souls to see what wicked way may reside in the depths of our hearts. We should confess it and make things right immediately.

We must all admit that, "except for the grace of God, there go I."

5:14 PM  
Blogger Dan Burrell said...

Terry,

I would agree with you 100%. Church discipline that requires a sanction or follow-up action due to a public offense must be done openly within the body or it is not church discipline at all. I would think this is particular necessary when an "elder" is involved. I took the claim that "church discipline" was exercised at face value. Sounds like I shouldn't have. Thanks for the clarification. Such a public action would also have served to have been a warning toward all those who took Bob Gray on as a missionary as well.

Dan

5:18 PM  
Blogger Amy W said...

You could not have said it any better Pastor Marty. The only thing I wanted to point out to you was the fact that Bob Gray admitted to "french kissing" those little girls. You have to remember these girls were very young. They were elementary age. That is very sick. I hate that this is true but this is why we have to keep our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and not man. Man will fail us but Jesus never will. Praise the Lord! What an awesome God we serve. I grew up at Trinity Baptist and Trinity Christian Academy. This is the reason that my family left back in 1992. My dad pleaded with Tom Messer and the other men in leadership to handle this the right way according to God's word and they refused. They said he was interpreting those verses the wrong way and that this would destroy the ministry. So they chose to cover it up and do the wrong thing. They took the law into their own hands and now they need to answer for what they did. Not only does Bob Gray need to answer for his sins but all of the Trinity leadership that covered it up should answer for their wrong decisions. I hate that this has caused such heartache and that Satan is laughing and hoping that this causes people to never come to Christ. I just pray that the Lord uses this bad thing for His good!

5:18 PM  
Blogger Pastor Marty said...

I have also written to Dr. Neal Weaver, President of the Louisiana Baptist University. Their website featured Dr Gray on their honored alumni page on Saturday but by Sunday the picture and bio had been removed without a word.

I told Dr Weaver he had a responsibility to the alumnus and students of LBU to at least explain why they could no longer promote Dr. Gray.

I wrote a similar letter to Max Barton at Peoples Baptist Church near Atlanta. They host the national Independent Baptist Fellowship which replaced Southwide. Last week Dr Gray's picture was on their website as a featured speaker and now... you guessed it.

I understand that these men wish to distance themselves from this mess and disassociate from Dr Gray. However, simply acting as if he never existed is not the answer.

This issue needs to be addressed Biblically, compassionately, and seasoned with God's grace ... but it needs to be addressed by those who promoted him.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Terry McGovern said...

Great Post. Very true! I appreciate you taking a stand on this issue. It is needed.

7:28 PM  
Blogger PT Barnum said...

Great post Pastor Marty! I grew up in a church that covered the sins of a powerful pastor. Although the acts were not nearly what Gray has been accused of or admitted to, my IFB heavyweight pastor refused to even acknowledge any wrongdoing on his part. Pride and arrogance have been front and center for far too long among IFBs. What horrible damage can be done by those who not only choose to commit such terrible acts but then refuse to repent of the sin, refuse to forsake the sin, and refuse to even attempt to make restitution for the evil done. No doubt about it--we ought to hold ALL leaders to the Biblical measure of "blameless" and not just a select few.

Matthew

9:31 PM  
Blogger Greg Linscott said...

Marty,

If you're writing LBU, these folks also did the same thing:

http://nationwidefellowship.com/

http://www.westcoastbaptist.edu/featured.greatmen.asp

Google cache will still show Gray's pic in both places.

12:07 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

Let us not forget that we are dealing with a man...just a man...who is 80 years old. He has Parkinson's Disease. Yes, he did admit to some upspeakable crimes. But, did anyone think of his age and the effect of Parkinson's disease and the mind.
This is a short print from a website. http://www.helpguide.org/elder/parkinsons_disease.htm
You can find all kind of things when you look up Parkinson's diseases and the mind.
Approximately 20% of people with Parkinson’s disease will develop dementia, usually after the age of 70. In general, there is a 10 to 15 year lag time between a Parkinson’s diagnosis and the onset of dementia, which typically occurs years after the motor skills begin to be affected. Signs of dementia in Parkinson’s patients include:
memory problems
distractibility
slowed thinking
disorientation
confusion
moodiness
Slow response to questions
On top of this remember Dr. Gray was questioned by police (worldly police) that stated boldly that they are treating this "as if it had happened 20 minutes ago". Someone needs to put themselves into the shoes of Dr. Gray as an old man with Parkinson's Disease being grilled by the Police for a moment.
In my opnion, most healthy adults who go thru a police grilling could admit to things they did not do simply because of the PROCESS.

SOMEONE OUT THERE STOP AND THINK AND GIVE DR. GRAY THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT!!!! HE IS 80 AND HAS PARKINSONS DISEASE....WAS HE ACCUALLY AWARE OF EACH AND EVERY STATEMENT....I BELIEVE WE WILL FIND OUT...UNTIL THEN, I BELIEVE THAT IN AMERICA THE TERM IS: INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!

1:35 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

Let us not forget that we are dealing with a man...just a man...who is 80 years old. He has Parkinson's Disease. Yes, he did admit to some upspeakable crimes. But, did anyone think of his age and the effect of Parkinson's disease and the mind. This is a short print from a website. You can find all kind of things when you look up Parkinson's diseases and the mind. http://www.helpguide.org/elder/parkinsons_disease.htm
Approximately 20% of people with Parkinson’s disease will develop dementia, usually after the age of 70. In general, there is a 10 to 15 year lag time between a Parkinson’s diagnosis and the onset of dementia, which typically occurs years after the motor skills begin to be affected. Signs of dementia in Parkinson’s patients include:
memory problems
distractibility
slowed thinking
disorientation
confusion
moodiness
Slow response to questions
On top of this remember Dr. Gray was questioned by police (worldly police) that stated boldly that they are treating this "as if it had happened 20 minutes ago". Someone needs to put themselves into the shoes of Dr. Gray as an old man with Parkinson's Disease being grilled by the Police for a moment. In my opnion, most healthy adults who go thru a police grilling could admit to things they did not do simply because of the PROCESS.

SOMEONE OUT THERE STOP AND THINK AND GIVE DR. GRAY THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT!!!! HE IS 80 AND HAS PARKINSONS DISEASE....WAS HE ACCUALLY AWARE OF EACH AND EVERY STATEMENT....I BELIEVE WE WILL FIND OUT...UNTIL THEN, I BELIEVE THAT IN AMERICA THE TERM IS: INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!
Jill Young

1:37 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Pastor Marty, I commend you for not only for showing some real wisdom, but also some real courage in the steps you've taken.

This is a horribly sad story, and the photo's of an elderly and sick man being arrested are indeed heartbreaking. But if he is guilty (and again, that's for the courts to decide), we have to remember that justice--and the law of sowing and reaping--are no respecter of persons, regardless of age.

The whole story, in all its aspects, just makes me really, really sad.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Pastor Leo said...

My first exposure to Bob Gray's ministy was shortly after my conversion at a conference in Savannah in 1975. No doubt he has been used by the Lord in many ways and we should pray for complete repentance, full confession and restitution to those hurt by his sin. If TBC is found to have convered his actions it should be brought under the full weight of its sin also. They apparently failed to protect these children and to warn others of a sexual predator in the church. That is a serious breach of both spiritual oversight and the fiduciary responsibility of the leadership.
It is irrelevant how old Bob Gray is and what his physical or mental condition may be. He was in the position of shepherd and was in fact a predator.
What about his victims?? They have carried these scars for years and who knows how this may have damaged the cause if Christ in theer hearts. Bob Gray and TBC, if found to be guilty and negligent, should be held to the fullest accounting of the law.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Julie White said...

I'm glad someone finally mentioned the girls involved. Folks in fundamental churches have no clue how to deal with these problems...and those girls needed professional help and I trust they even now will seek out that help. I taught school at TCA in 74-75, third grade, and had the sister of one of the accused in my class. Later, at age 53, I found out that my own brother molested me as a child...I have never remembered it and still don't until this day, my mind had totally locked it away. But, it still had an effect on my life without me knowing why I did the things that I did...had a baby out of wedlock, have difficulties with relationships with men, and have a weight problem (the statistics being 75% of overweight women were molested as children). The church definitely owes these women an explanation and apology, and should pay for any therapy they need. It probably would have helped Denise a great deal if her father had just told her that he had confronted Bob Gray with what she told him...there was after all someone who fought for her and believed her. Churches/pastors need to stand up for what is right...don't worry about the church, the man's testimony, etc...if it is God's work, then God will work it out. ALL things work together for good.

1:24 PM  
Blogger FreedfromBondage said...

Pastor Marty - Fine balanced article - I will regret in advance that your letter of recommendations has fallen on blinded eyes, and deaf ears.- However, your thoughts are to be commended. Please, extend my greetings to Mr. Keever as well.

Dr. Burrell - My that carpet is getting wide on the Northside. Keep calling though. America needs more "Billy Sunday" style finger pointers - BBN, PCC, TBC, and others need a wake up buzz.

Pastor Cloud - as a recovering Indy / Fighting Fundy I have two items of advice. 1.) Get used to vomit, 2.) Watch your back, [OK three] 3.) Guard your heart, and family with ALL diligence. May God Be With You!

Jay C - Here, Here! Bravo! Speak On!

Terry, Don, Joe - Real, Biblical Church discipline would have produced a residence of now 14 years in prison for the Doc.

Dan - How's Mike? Your thoughts are Bible Based. Your observations completely correct. Guilty? Millstone, and Rope, Please!?!

Amy W - So True! SICK! Lower than sick. God bless your Daddy for doing what's right, no matter what! You should thank him.

Matthew - Good Stuff! May I recommend the books: "Twisted Scripture", "The Power of Spriritual Abuse", and "Toxic Faith"

Jill - Sorry, no Pearls for you.

cindy - "Guilt" is for GOD to decide. - ie. O.J. (please see Bible - Millstone & Rope Recipe)

Remember, the only one in Scripture to ever refer to a man as "A Man of God" was GOD HIMSELF!!! We forget that way too often, it is not man's place to label men with that terminology...It is GOD and GOD ALONE who determines this.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Good point, freedomfrombondage...but I was speaking of how guilt is decided in the earthly realm in which we live. Of course, God is the ultimate judge.

1:44 PM  
Blogger FreedfromBondage said...

Cindy,

Did you look up the recipe? God will judge, by His own character, the very moment this offense has taken place. By law - Sowing & Reaping. Whether an accused is exonorated, an abuser let "off the hook", or a molester convicted...who, by the way, are not well received within the prison community, no matter what the age. God's law will always be true, whether we expect things to come out right, wrong, or otherwise. Peace!

4:31 PM  
Blogger PreachermanMCBC said...

FreedFromBondage said:

"Remember, the only one in Scripture to ever refer to a man as "A Man of God" was GOD HIMSELF!!!"

You must have overlooked 1Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

Looks like Paul called Timothy "man of God."

10:49 PM  
Blogger Adam Horowitz said...

My name is Adam Horowitz. I am a Florida attorney who is representing several victims of sexual abuse by Bob Gray. If anyone has information that may be helpful in bringing these cases, please contact me at ahorowitz@hermanlaw.com or call my office at 305-931-2200.

Adam Horowitz, Esq.
www.hermanlaw.com

8:15 AM  
Blogger xmember said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:12 PM  
Blogger preach88 said...

Pastor Marty.
The ripples from this will be felt for many months and years to come. The victims will not just be the ones molested, if proven to be true, but the many who will lose faith, withdraw from service and even quit the ministry because of this tragic event. Tragic because of the deep mars this sin will leave in the life of so many.

Your stand is refreshing and I agree with the well-put letter to Dr. Shelton Smith. I only pray that we as IFB will see that this is a call for repentance, revival and a return to letting Christ be exalted in the church instead of man.

As I read all of this in the early hours of this Sunday morning, the word of Paul to the young preacher Timothy came to mind, "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;(2 Tim. 3:14).

Been blessed by the blog brother.

3:37 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Ive been looking for more information about Dr. Gray and just found this page. Im still stunned at what all is happening. I was a freind of Dr. Grays daughter, Dawn.We went to Liberty Baptist College together. One summer while we were doing summer missionary work in Myrtle Beach South Carolina, he came to visit her. I road in the car with Dr. Gray , his wife, Dawn and the youngest son Wayne. Dr. Gray was just like any other dad. He never showed any signs of being a molester of any kind.
I have thought about this time with that family so much since this has happened to Dr.Gray, then I remembered he had signed my bible many years ago at a revival at my home church before I went to college. I got it out, and there were several names there that had signed my Bible. I was almost numb as I looked at the names...I wont mention them because there is no reason to do so. But 4 of the 7 names of men who had been spiritual giants in my eyes had fallen in ways like divorce, affairs and now child molestation. I cant describe the feeling that went through me. I could hear God saying add King Davids name to that list.And what about Noah??
Its God reminding us all , that we are all quite capable of falling into sin. I think we need to be careful how we decide to bring one another "accountable" God is quite capapble of doing this on His very own. Sure we can say that we dont justify what Dr.Gray did. Call it sin, but then let God do the dealings. He was and IS a man of God. Maybe not a perfect one , but obviously none of His men are. David was a man after Gods own heart. He failed miserably.
I think we all do. We just might not fail at anything that is against MANS laws. I just know, that the only one who doesnt commmit sin and wont dissappoint us is Jesus Christ Himself.
Who was it that said the first one of you that is without sin should cast the first stone?

12:24 AM  
Blogger FreedfromBondage said...

Hey, PreachermanMCBC!

1Timothy 6:11? *YAWN!* OK time to review our Bibliology 101 and Basic Hermueies. I believe I a may be safe to assume that your are an "Autorized" man. [Be not offended, I consider that admirable...when properly administered] So, by way of review, where did the BIBLE come from? Yes, GOD. Who breathed the words of scripture into it's pages? Yes, GOD. Inspired in it's whole? YES, by GOD. Preserved by it's Author? YES, by GOD. Who used Paul to PEN the words of 1Timothy 6:11? [Need help?...first letter in the word is capital 'G'] YES, GOD!!! So who REALLY called Timothy a "man of God"? Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding!!! YES, you are correct! GOD!!! SO, to you, my dear friend, I STILL say, "the only one in Scripture to ever refer to [Label, Address, or Entitle] a man as "A Man of God" was GOD HIMSELF!!!"
All Glory and Power, by His Grace, to thee be made known, my brother. Peace!

10:32 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Gomez said...

aI am speechless ... I did not know about Dr. Bob Gray. I am sick. Jack says he is 'sick' - WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT JACK I AM SICK OF SO-CALLED MEN OF GOD LIKE YOURSELF COVERING UP SIN IN THE CAMP. GOD NEVER COVERED UP SIN, AND WHEN DAVID COMMITTED ADULTERY NATHAN SAID, 'THOU ART THE MAN'. IT'S ABOUT TIME FUNDAMENTALISTS STARTED EXPOSING INSTEAD OF COVERING UP SIN. THESE MEN PREACH LIKE THEY ARE GOD - THEY TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE NOT RIGHT WITH GOD IF YOU DIDN'T GO OUT SOUL-WINNING Saturday.
WHAT ABOUT Pedophilia, what about adultery, what about heresy, what about church discipline, what about 1-2-3 repeat after me????

I HAVE NO RESPECT FOR A MOVEMENT THAT COVERS SIN AND I HAVE NO RESPECT FOR PREACHERS WHO wave their King James Bibles but fail to preach old-time repentance to lost sinners.

One thing we have to realize - Pastors are people with a gift - nothing more

I see now that just like a President, Pastors need to be kept in check. Why? Because absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Not all Pastors lust for power but many of the Hyles brand do. They want complete control and if they don't get it they will embarrass you, they will humiliate you, they will do whatever it takes to discredit you if you are not one of their YESMEN.

A word for the YESMEN - your weak, pathetic constitutions result in your succombing to the psychological vicegrip of a strong preacher. NOT ME. I broke free from the psychological stranglehold on myself and my family. I broke free before it was too late. Then 6 months later this story about Dr. Gray comes out - truly pathetic

However I really left because of EASY BELIEVISM? I gave my Pastor almost 2 years to answers questions regarding repentance and quick prayerism. He had a Master's degree in theology from guess where, but he could not answer my questions. He responded verbatim from Hyles heretical work 'Enemies of Soul Winning' In there Hyles says no one understands like repentance like he does. He basically says that repentance and belief are the exact same. Really slick just like Lucifer himself!!! What a lie! Then I read all of the oodles and oodles of quotations from the Bible and men of God like Rice, Roloff, and Spurgeon who say that repentance is TURNING FROM SIN!!!

You know that we are in the last days when the Bible Thumpers start changing the requirements of salvation and start redefining the word REPENTANCE. IF THE PLAIN SENSE MAKE SENSE THEN SEEK NO OTHER SENSE.

"EXCEPT YE REPENT YE SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH." Luke 13:3,5

Now look up the word Repentance in the oldest English dictionary you can find. You found it?? Good you just decoded the secret message:

REPENT OF YOUR SIN OR GO TO HELL!




This blog comes from a man who has spent almost 20 years in the IFB movement. I will not spend the next 20 years in the IFB - I can assure you of that!!

3:34 AM  
Blogger Mark Fitzhenry said...

I share Dan Burrell's skepticism as to whether there will be a response to your letter to him. Did the Sword of the Lord or Shelton Smith ever respond to your letter and did they ever publish anything about Bob Gray's arrest?

3:56 PM  
Blogger Mark Fitzhenry said...

Marty
Was your open letter to Sheldon ever answered? Did the Sword ever cover the Bob Gray story or did they ignore?

3:47 PM  
Blogger John 3:17 said...

Thank you for sharing this blog article.

I think that the influence that Bob Gray held (and knew it was like a power to him) and the way those who looked up to him (and some that still do as if he is beyond reproach) placed him in some kind of awe because it represented a movement they were part of, and the feelings (emotional) that go with belonging to a movement, come very close to the influence and power, charisma, and magnetism that the Antichrist will one day have over the world. It's dangerous to hold men in such esteem, to laud them and hold them up. They are just human beings and many are not fit as leaders even though someone has put them in power. Jesus never taught us to do this. Yes, there is human respect, but we are always cautioned to be very careful. The Lord spent a lot of time warning us that wolves in sheep's clothing would creep in. We need to be very careful that a movement, or part of a movement, that we make ourselves part of (and this includes all "camps") is not so man-made that we are losing sight of what God has told us. The things Jesus warned about Paul saw in the early church and warned about with tears. Men who came in to harm, not to do good, not to help. Personally, I believe Bob Gray has shown himself to be that kind of person.

The church (Trinity) that continues to deny they did anything wrong, even after those women came forward, illustrate the man-made character of this movement, where God is left on the side while they pretend they have Him in the center. They failed in their responsibility and now they have yet to repent of that, as well. They deceive themselves and those who don't know any better. They are dangerous. They are those we have been warned of in Scripture. If they are not, then did Jesus and Paul warn us in vain? No, but we make it vain when we forget what they said. No man should ever be lifted so high that people look to him more or forget that he is just flesh and blood and not deity. For Gray to tell some of those women, when they were children, that he was "God in this church" shows his mindset and where he was, even early on. I don't think that mindset needs to be explained anywhere other than Scripture because it has plenty to say and warn about regarding that.

Did Shelton Smith ever reply to your letter? For some reason, I am not holding my breath. But I do hope that he will do the right thing.

11:30 AM  
Blogger The Pharisee said...

Marty,

It is rumored with several confirming voices, that you have resigned from Fords Bush.

Would you care to comment as to why?

10:42 AM  
Blogger EverTryingToBeLikeHIM said...

I am mortified to find that THIS is what "Christianity" has become. These blogs and comments are no more than a gossip chain letter that airs dirty laundry and ruins lives. I hope you all stop pointing your fingers and gloating from your high horses and look INWARD! "For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the GLORY OF GOD"! Jesus came to us all...PEROID! It doesn't matter what Bible you read, or what type of worship you choose to have in your church. We are to minister to those who are in need. WE are the body of CHRIST!?!

11:56 PM  
Blogger The Pharisee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:02 AM  
Blogger The Pharisee said...

It get's worse. Follow this link.

11:27 PM  
Blogger The Pharisee said...

MARTY HAS CONFESSED.

3:39 PM  

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