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TX: Texas church expelled from Southern Baptist Convention for hiring registered sex offender as pastor

[tennessean.com – 2/18/20]

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee expelled a Texas church Tuesday for employing a pastor who is a registered sex offender.

The 80-plus member body, which acts on behalf of the Southern Baptist Convention when it is not in session, took a vote to disfellowship Ranchland Heights Baptist Church in Midland, Texas, during its regularly scheduled meeting in Nashville.

Ranchland Heights is “no longer to be considered in friendly cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention,” said the Rev. Mike Stone, chairman of the Executive Committee.

Read the full article

 

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  1. Harry

    Well, well, well there goes the forgiviness of the Executive Commitee’s sins. They are hell bound, according to God. There are going to be a lot of Baptist in hell.

    • AJ

      @Harry:
      Once again, you display a different understanding of Christianity than I have. Last I checked, repentance doesn’t “make or break” one’s entrance to heaven. For one thing, that would mean works yield salvation. But more importantly, there’s only one Way into heaven. It’s the ABC’s I previously mentioned to you.

      Based on what appears to be your walk, I trust you’ve repented for your judging them?

  2. Facts should matter

    You know religion is a flawed concept when they nit pick which sin is the worst.

    Sin is sin, but these bible thumpers don’t forgive and forget, much less trust.

  3. Eric

    Jesus would be so proud!!

  4. wonderin

    According to records Rutledge’s victims were two young girls ages 11 and 12 at the time.

    “It just sets the stage for contact with youthful people. It’s like putting fire on a dry bush, it’s going to burn,” “The thing about child sex offenders or predators because that’s what they are, predators most of them don’t get over it they just might be able to contain it.”
    Gary Painter, Midland County Sheriff, said.

    I don’t fault anyone for this belief because it came directly from the mental health association and still propels the Registry today. It contains an element of truth which is enough to feed the fear.
    IMHO the mental health association must lead in educating the public and denouncing the unrealistic fears of former sex offenders who for the most part go on to lead well adjusted lives after facing their faults.

    Deacon D.J. Rambo with Ranchland Heights Baptist Church tells CBS 7 News “I can’t tell you that 100 % of the people know, but the vast majority know.”
    Rambo went on to say “We make sure children are never by themselves in the sanctuary or any activities alone with the pastor.”

    IMO these children are safer than a church who freely allow children to be alone with trusted adults.

    • TS

      @wonderin

      Where does it state that train of thought came from the mental health association? I didn’t read in the article or that the sheriff is correct either in his words.

      While I agree that thinking helps dangerously propel the registry, that line of thinking is very ignorantly dangerous without the recidivism statistics backing it up. Maybe they should extend it to others who are part of the problem also and are clergy, LE, teachers, coaches, etc interacting with minors. Paint the entire picture. Also agree efforts by established entities should help dispell the fear mongering with poor information with good information.

      • wonderin

        “Where does it state that train of thought came from the mental health association? I didn’t read in the article or that the sheriff is correct either in his words.”

        My words, no quote marks.
        Why do you suppose the mental health association is charged with treatment of sex offenders?
        They are considered the experts on sexual deviation and treatment.
        The registry was from 1947 started in Calif due to law enforcement being able to keep track of sexual deviates. Google it for a complete history.
        We also have a (non public) registry for arsonist due to similar diagnostic reasons.

    • Will Allen

      I fault people for that belief because it is simply dumb.

      It should be obvious to anyone that any pastor could be a raving child molester who has never been caught. I mean, how many times do we actually have to see that to believe it? A million?

      So it is a simple fact that all people have to be watched, equally. If you do that, then you’ve protected children. If not, you are just jacking off with Registries and pretending to protect.

  5. Tim in WI

    The electronic atheists have cornered the Southern Baptist right where they want them.
    Problem is the Baptists have not yet figured it out. Similar to what we see happening with The Salvation Army, the atheists have convinced these bible thumpers the use of their machines will advance their moral collective. They will find the inverse will occur to their shrinking ranks.

    It has always been far more about the machine use, rather than the general interest of a free society. The sex offender made a good excuse and scapegoat.

  6. TP

    Yet they will likely ignore the sins of others such as adultery, alcoholism, abusers, and more…

    This pastor has a great position and stage to educate the community about truth in our situation. The pulpit is an amazing place for perception of all persons to be changed instead of one influenced by media.

  7. G4Change

    Hypocrites!!!

  8. TP

    I’ve taken this opportunity to write the CBS station articld which is linked in the tennessean article calling this man a predator telling them their article is slanderous and inappropriate, plus telling them the facts about the registry.

    I have also written the SBC telling them how far off their decision is from the teachings of christ. This was a time for the SBC to become a model of grace, yet they turned into pharisees.

  9. FM: No Static At All

    I’m with the SBC on this one. Here’a why:

    “This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be BLAMELESS, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover HE MUST HAVE A GOOD REPORT OF THEM WHICH ARE WITHOUT; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” 1 Timothy 3:1-7, KJV, emphases mine.

    “For a bishop must be BLAMELESS, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” Titus 1:7-9, KJV, emphasis mine.

    I’m not saying sex offenders are beyond hope of salvation — not at all. But in light of the above passages of scripture, I think it would be inappropriate to let one be a pastor. One could, however, be an evangelist, and in fact, I used to know a pastor personally who’s with the Lord now who had a brother who passed away last summer on the sex offender registry who was an evangelist and an excellent guitar picker too, who could pick just like the late Chet Atkins.

    For anyone who remembers him, I’m referring to Dwayne Friend (1936-2019), who played guitar for southern gospel group The Happy Goodman Family back in the mid-60’s and also, with some of his brothers, had a nationally syndicated TV show back in the 70’s and early 80’s. All of that, however, was back before he got busted for sex with his son’s girlfriend in 1988, which is why he was on the registry.

    • Harry

      “A bishop then must be BLAMELESS,…” Before this bishop was saved he was not blameless. The Blood of Jesus washes away all sins including those of former sex-offender and that Blood make all blameless. Soooo, you are saying that a murder, thief, wife beater, abortionist, and so forth would be acceptable pastor, whom many pastors SBC were?

      • TS

        @Harry

        If they repented and the church accepted that, then yes, those people could be a pastor because that’s based upon the teachings of The Bible. I have seen a man who was convicted killer after 20 years become part of a ministry team.

      • AJ

        @Harry:
        “The Blood of Jesus washes away all sins including those of former sex-offender and that Blood make all blameless.”
        —–
        So would this apply to those Baptists you keep claiming will be filling hell?

        • Harry

          Well, those Baptist do not forgive God can not forgive their sins only the forgiven are allowed in Heaven. Those do not make it to Heaven will be in Hell.

        • AJ

          @Harry:
          “those Baptist do not forgive God can not forgive their sins only the forgiven are allowed in Heaven.”
          —–
          Huh?!?! God can forgive anyone and everyone He chooses to forgive. And He does, contingent on one criterion: admitting and repenting of sin and accepting Jesus Christ as the Savior. Full stop. Period.

          For a third time your understanding of Christianity conflicts with mine. So a Baptist who admits sin and accepts Christ as Savior still cannot get to heaven simply due to adhering to the Baptist denomination? What book of the Bible says that?

          And just who are “those Baptist[s]”? You’re still and again sounding judgmental, which is a sin when applied hypocritically. Work on that plank in your eye, Harry, then worry about your brothers’ specks.

        • Harry

          Matthew 6:14-15 New King James Version (NKJV)
          14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses

        • TS

          @Harry

          Good thing individual people can get into heaven and not necessarily as part of a denomination as whole or otherwise it could be lonely since each denomination falls short.

        • AJ

          @Harry:
          “Matthew 6:14-15 New King James Version (NKJV)
          14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”
          —–
          Thank you for supporting my point and undercutting your own position! Let’s take the above passage and personalize it a little bit….

          *****
          Matthew 6:14-15 New King James Version (NKJV)
          14 “For if @Harry forgives Baptists their trespasses, @Harry’s heavenly Father will also forgive him. 15 But if @Harry does not forgive Baptists their trespasses, neither will @Harry’s Father forgive his trespasses
          *****
          So I ask once again, @Harry, have you repented of your sin of judgment and scorn against the hordes of Baptists you’re relegating to hell?
          =====

          There’s another problem with the passages you cite in that they have nothing to do with salvation. Salvation does not hinge on forgiving one another. Salvation hinges on admitting one’s OWN sins, believing Jesus can forgive one’s OWN sins, and confessing one’s OWN sins. Failure to confess a sin doesn’t banish one to hell. If so, then the underlying statement of Christianity that one must simply believe in Jesus Christ as Savior is a lie and falls flat. Failure to repent of a sin simply means God will judge you for it. Forgiveness, coming and going, is wonderful and Christ-like–as is loving those reviled Baptists, i.e. your enemy (see: Matt 5:43-48)–but it doesn’t have any bearing on whether or not you make it to heaven. After all, there are plenty of atheists who forgive others of their trespasses….

    • wonderin

      @ FM: No Static At All,
      That sounds fair, if it applies to all sinners and not just former sex offenders.

    • TP

      From one of my old seminary professors, who is the most well known and respected New Testament Scholars…”No one fully meets the standards of blameless execpt Christ.”

  10. HB

    Has anyone heard anything on Hearn v. Castilleja?

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