‘much needed light for our path’

Thy Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path…


With pastor’s exit, church prays for reconciliation OneNewsNow

After a year of controversy and turmoil in their church stemming from allegations of financial mismanagement, members of a prominent Nashville-area Southern Baptist church have accepted a retirement package for their pastor… One News Now article

By now most have heard or read about the sad condition at the Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville. It appears, at least form the One News Now article, that they have come to a resolution, and a lucrative one I might add.

The purpose of this post was not to air the retirement package that Dr. Jerry Sutton was approved to receive but to consider the atmosphere and prevailing spirit we see rearing its head in the church in America.

Below is an excerpt from the Baptist Messenger posted in August 2007.Two Rivers Baptist Church members voice dissent, pastor seeks reconciliation

The article from The Baptist Messenger reveals that the church was not only a pillar in the community but held national credence both in the religious and political realm…

Two Rivers has been in the national headlines three times in recent years for its hosting of Christian conservative rallies. Last October it hosted a pre-election “Stand for the Family” rally sponsored by Focus on the Family Action where James Dobson, Richard Land and other leaders spoke. In 2005 it hosted “Justice Sunday II,” a rally highlighting court rulings on such issues as abortion and Ten Commandments displays. Dobson also spoke at the event, which was held three weeks before the confirmation hearing of now-Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. Also, in 2005, “Hardball with Chris Matthews” hosted a program at the church focusing on religion’s role in politics.

A ‘mega-church’ with both a traditional and contemporary service….

Sutton said membership has “never been higher,” although “attendance is off a little bit.” The 2006 Annual Church Profile showed that Two Rivers had 6,829 members and an average of 1,573 primary worship service attendance. It also had 137 baptisms that year.

The church has two services: a traditional one and a more contemporary one. Members of the group seeking Sutton’s removal tend to be “older, long-term members” and attend the traditional service, the Tennessean reported.

From all outward appearances it seems a successful church, edifying the body of Christ, while all along there was a cancer growing and festering, just waiting to exude a spirit, a spirit of anti-christ.


We find a spirit that airs its dirty laundry before the world.


The group has launched a website and is seeking to gather enough signatures — which must be at least 10 percent of the membership — to hold a church meeting to vote on whether to remove Sutton, the Tennessean reported Aug. 15. A two-thirds vote would be required, church members told the newspaper. The Associated Press has also reported on the conflict.

The group that launched the web site expressed 8 major issues… 

  • “steady decline in membership”
  • “lack of accountability in finances”
  • “poor stewardship of God’s people”
  • “authoritarian style church management”
  • “rapid turnover rate of church staff in the past 10 years”
  • “lavish lifestyle and receptions”
  • “questionable allegations”
  • “serious communication issues”

…. not to mention the politics, the favoritism, division, schism and backbiting.


With no other recourse the situation is left to litigation.


DARE any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?

Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?

I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?

But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!

Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?

No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! 1 Cor6:1-8 NKJV


What happens when the ‘flesh’ is the vicar of the church?


The petition drive to remove Sutton began in July, the Tennessean said, after Sutton and other church leaders asked that church trustee Frank Harris be removed from membership. Although a majority voted for removal, some members called the vote invalid because church protocol for such votes wasn’t followed. Harris had been critical of Sutton and questioned some of the expenditures. Sutton and other leaders said Harris had been divisive.

“Anyone who voiced opposition to leadership was alienated and lost any ministries they may have had in the church,” Harris told AP. He also said he believes the church has gone from a “people-led church to a staff-run church.”

I’m thinking a Spirit lead church and that leading, based upon the word of God, we probably would not even be reading  this story.


“Wake up people! It seems like nothing separates the church from the world anymore! The church has become a “Business” of buying and selling what people want to hear and believe–TRUTH & REPENTANCE seem to be a thing of the past! What are you being SOLD!” Comment from a poster on OneNewsNow.

I believe the poster has hit the nail squarely upon its head, in that the spirit of the world ‘flesh’ is so prevalent that the Spirit of God has been pushed out of the church. Could this actually happen? Laodicea!


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