Thankfully, the lustful little men who caused a great rift within the American Baptist Churches USA have, for the most part, slunk away to ply their trade elsewhere; as is usual with such ideological bullies, when they don't get their way, they take their balls and go home – but not without first causing extensive destruction. The denomination that remains would seem to be far smaller, but much stronger for having found a way to hold to the historic Baptist principles of radical freedom. In this case the principle most threatened was the historic freedom of the local congregation, a gathered community subject to no priestly authority, to determine its own ministries. A dozen years after the worst, at least, of the storm had passed, this long-dormant site has no use, whether polemical or historical. Unlike conspirators, however, I have no need or urge to deny the past, and this bit of spleen on the home page can stand as archaeological remains of a vile conflict brought about by self-appointed guardians of a dead letter, who took it upon themselves to attempt the eradication of little communities of peaceful folk who take seriously Paul's good news to the Galatians that “there is no longer male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” If by any chance you take exception to the tone of anything here, I gently request that you take a moment to reread Ps 139 – all of it.
This site will hold objective documentation on the current conflict within the American Baptist Churches USA. It will also hold caustic polemics sputtered by the maintainer at regular intervals, mainly because the hooligans looting the denomination have no damn sense of humor. I've found that one of the best antidotes to the malaise, depression, and general funk inspired by these bozos is the purgative relief of a voluminou expulsion of, well, whatever it is that horses' asses keep trying to dump on the rest of us.
The creator & maintainer of this site is Mark Theodoropoulos -- that's me. And hey, it's my real name and everything! I don't feel the need to hide, unlike some of the oh-so-Godly but cowardly leaders of the movement that is attempting to take over the ABC-USA. They can easily find me, and they're perfectly welcome to huff and puff and screech about heresy and all the other dire things they like to talk about, in the time-honored fashion of little men who lust for power.
I hope to gather in one place as much objective material as possible so that you can draw your own conclusions, but that won't prevent me from making non-conciliatory partisan statements. I stand by, and will stand by, every statement made here that is not specifically attributed to someone else, and that includes my contention that the ABC-USA has been under attack for more than decade by the same kind of forces -- if not the same forces -- that took over and demolished the Southern Baptist Convention. I stand by my statements because certain individuals in what I will term "the opposition" appear to have perfected the art of the cowardly smear; they ought to be ashamed of themselves, but shame and honor appear to be sorely lacking in their public behavior. If there, it's hard to find under so many layers of moral certitude and self-righteousness. I especially stand by every "tasteless," "insulting," "unproductive" barb here. If I keep it up nonstop for another 10 years or so, I might be able to produce a thousandth of the bile generated by the opposition.
Naturally, folks, Job One is demonstrating that the so-called "disfellowshipping" of four California congregations by their Region, the American Baptist Churches of the West, in 1996 -- so often pointed to by members of the opposition crowing about it as a grand example of "careful process" -- was and is thoroughly illegal under the Region's own bylaws and under California law. Although fait accompli, it is technically null and void.
Don't ya just love it when supposed representatives of the Gospel who can't honorably get their way resort to criminal acts?
This thing is done in my "spare" time on my own nickel. I don't represent any church, any association, any anything with this site. So don't even bother with the standard guilt-by-association tactics, J.E. You know who you are.
Job Two will be a little additional commentary on my much-maligned little polemic, A non-conciliatory note on the conflict within the ABC-USA. Hoo boy, did everyone hate that! But there's a bit of amusing history behind it, not to mention some of the shocked reactions it got.
Q: Gee, you sound really nasty and angry! Are you?
A: Yep, vicious, destructive people using underhanded slash-and-burn tactics do make me kinda mad.
Q: So why don't you try to be a little more diplomatic and Christian -- engage in dialogue?
A: Because that's exactly what these folks count on. There's no dialogue when one party is holding a gun to the other's head. Appeasement doesn't work with ideological fanatics -- they only use it to gain advantage. Before asking me to moderate my tone (or, worse, be a "peacekeeper") how about asking those who are doing all the yelling to turn it down a notch first? As soon as the ringleaders demonstrate good faith -- and they have a long way to go, starting with quite a list of public apologies -- maybe we can talk. Fair enough?
Q: Isn't being confrontational like this a bad thing? Doesn't it get in the way of reconciliation?
A: I find it hilarious that the leaders of a subversive revolutionary organization (ABE) can engage in a decade-long campaign of lies, slurs, and defamation, and as soon as one single solitary little guy with no standing says he's had enough of the sand-kicking bullies and strikes back with a few harsh words, his "confrontational" stance is cause for handwringing. Look, leave the handwringing to spineless denominational leadership and others who live in the same vain hope that informed Chamberlain. I don't like seeing good people get trampled by ruthless powermongers.
Q: Sorry, I'm still a little uncomfortable with this.
A: Try reading a little Luther. Or a Gospel or two. It'll soon pass.
Q: So why are these guys trying to take over the denomination anyway?
A: Ask Bill:
Th’ expense of spirit in a waste of shame,
is lust in action, and till action, lust
is perjured, murd’rous, bloody full of blame,
savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust...