The Unauthorized Version

"The opposite of faith is not doubt. The opposite of faith is certainty." -Ieuan Brydydd Hir ********************* "Biblical piety is not really pious; one must rather characterize it as well-considered, qualified worldliness." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bob Gray of Longview Baptist Temple Resigned... Sort Of

So I learned that Bob Gray resigned in Dec 2008 due to health reasons. This is the second bit of IFBx scuttlebutt I have heard recently. I had almost forgotten I was only one really-stretched link away from this crowd. And boy is the wire hot lately!
As it turns out, due to declining health, Bob Gray decided he wanted to focus on promoting the college/school and speaking engagements. But there was a string attached to his departure... the church body had to vote in his son, Bob Gray II, as pastor, before his resignation would be effective. There is also a one-year transition period were they will both be in charge.
Evidently Bob Gray Sr. felt like Hammond made a mistake moving from Hyles to Schaap, and has been critical of Schaap. (It seems that most big-name IFBx preachers have hopped on that bandwagon, see my comments on Fugate.) So this I'll-resign-if-you-vote-in-my-son-but-I'll-still-hang-around-for-a-year routine is supposed to avoid that "pitfall."
The final vote to instate Bob II under these conditions was 96%. The 96% isn't suprising- the 4% is. Having spent time there personally I would have expected the vote to be 98%+. This is a place where the pastor's word is God's, and you don't move or change jobs unless pastor says it's ok. I sympathize with the 4%, but they need to get out and stop dreaming about reforming the system... they are only hurting themselves and their families.
As such the question of whether or not Bob Sr. should have been the one to pick his successor is moot, because the inner core of LBT does his bidding anyway.
We look on this from the outside and wonder why Bob Sr. is holding on as tight as he is. I assure you however, that to the people there it makes sense and feels natural, given what they believe about pastoral authority.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

HEBREWS 13:7 Remember them which have the RULE OVER YOU, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

HEBREWS 13:17 Obey them that have the RULE OVER YOU, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

David T. said...

"Obey _them_" -plural "Remember _them_" -plural
It might work if one believed in Biblical equal elder rule.
Obedience is madness in a single pastor system where the "man of God" can't be held accountable by anyone, and exercises final authority without recourse. This type of system would have been foreign to the Apostles.

towmaster_8 said...

hey rookie, sounds like you really have a problem authority. interesting bathroom reading though. dr grey is an awesome preacher and not you or anyone else for that matter can ever take that away. where is your church? where is your ministry? before blabbing and gossiping about a PREACHER, yes a PREACHER, ya better read what the bible says about GOD's elect,and then you just might hear the "POPPING" sound that follows. that sound my friend is the sound of your head popping out of your blessed assurance.... just a little word to the unwise.........

David T. said...

I suppose you are an example of a person that considers the pastor untouchable.

David Emme said...

Quite often many comment and I have probvlems with not giving names so as to hide your Identity. For the Record, my name is David Emme.

Certainhly we should be under authority, but it is not a personal kingdom of the pastor which tends to happen more often in Independent Fundamental Baptists.

When a person calls into question a ministry about power and authority as quite often many are building a kingdom, but not the kingdom of God.

This has been my experiance. No, I am not afraid to submit to pastoral or any other kind of authority. I had huge problems in 2004 when our convoy did not leave until 10 hours later. Leaving in the early morning has its advantages-but still obeyed those in authority. Of course, I could be dead if we did leave earlier as insurgents left Fallujah afer escaping that battle and opened a new front on the war up North in Mosul(where we were headed).

I tend to look at things a bit differently and when pastors are not living this passage-I leave and find another church:

1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords overa God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (1 Pe 5:1-9). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

msft said...

Oh, Bob Gray is NO man of God, I assure you! He thinks he's the end all.. the final authority. I knew him well! I've gone "soulwinning" with him. He eventually cost me my marriage by sitting in my living room and lied to my wife that I was having an affair. His evidence..I managed a resturant at night and gave a 65 year old waitress a ride because her car wouldn't start and her husband was home sick! But he was her final authority. LBT is pure man worship!

David T. said...

@msft: I am sorry to hear it. I trust that you are in a different church now. Keep growing in grace. I don't know how I could handle losing my wife like that.

tntmom2002 said...

You know nothing about this church and I encourage you to be a man and contact Bob Gray II and talk to him about this. I will even give you his cel phone #. You are so off base about all your facts, the least you can do is talk with the man before talking trash and spreading gossip and untruths!!!! and as far as the man who lost his wife, that is not the whole story and Preacher Gray has always been about saving marriages and would never encourage a divorce. Maybe you wouldn't have lost your wife if you had been more careful!!! I am sure the old lady in the car was not all there was to it, sounds like you are trying to place blame!!! Bro. Bob has been a awesome influence in our lives and has helped me save my marriage and anyone who talks about a man of God needs to be careful.

jamie said...

I truly feel sorry for the people and their families still involved in the LBT cult. I could tell you stories that would make you stomach turn, and i have been in the presence of Bob Gray Sr. and it is not a Godly presence. I am sorry you have lost freethinking will that was given to you by God.

tntmom2002 said...

I have all the free thinking that God gave me, you are a fool to believe rumors that have no truth. Call up the man and go face to face with him, I don't know much about his dad's leadership but Bob Gray II, is a God fearing man of God. Things in the past need to be left alone and KNOW this the NEW pastor of LBT is a great man of God, and people like you need to move on get over and know that God is working and changing the church from anything that is was to something that is exciting and growing and is awesome in the sight of our Lord.

Rick said...

There is a difference between apostles and pastors (Eph 4:11).  If you use the KJB, you will learn such. No man is perfect, but God calls pastors to lead. Peter was a rascal, but Ananias and Sapphira died because they told a little white lie to him. He was an apostle, and became a missionary, not a pastor. James became a pastor.  The instructions in Timothy are for a pastor, and give clear authority. If you think that you are smarter than God, then speak against his man. He sets them up and takes them down. If you think your timing is better than God's, then do it yourself. Is your faith so weak that you cannot pray knowing God has a plan and a purpose and a time? Rick Story, LBT Deacon. 

David T. said...

Rick,

To what standard is a pastor to be held to? The Bible? But you would hold that the pastor gets to interpret and tell you what the Bible says, and you should submit to that, right? There is, then, no authority which may be held in judgement of that man. Because if he doesn't appear to be right in comparison to the Scriptures, all he has to do is preach those Scriptures in a way that supports him.
Take a moment and step back recognize the circularity of your position. The pastor then, is your ultimate authority, not God.
Oh but you say that God works through your pastor. Then why are we commanded to have a relationship with Him directly (prayer, Bible, etc.) if his mouthpiece is your pastor?
Well then you will say, your relationship with God will confirm what your pastor is saying, if it doesn't, you know you are wrong. Then why put all that effort into walking with God? Just listen to the pastor. This objection makes the command to abide in Him of none effect.
Again, step back and see the circularity of your position.

bittersweet symphony said...

Interesting reading here... tntmom, you said you don't know much about Bob Sr's direction over his congregation, and I agree. Your statements show that quite obviously.
His empire crumbled slowly but surely, in the last 10 years especially. He finally resigned for health reasons, when he should have been home for his invalid wife for the last 20 years instead of running around the country spreading his message of hatred. He is a selfish, egotistical man who convinced parents to abandon their children in the name of "holiness" and "righteousness". If his beliefs hold true, he will surely answer to his God for what he did to us.

Rick said...

 I am surprised and honored that you replied directly to me. I hadn't checked here since posting my first statement. You seem to like to assume a lot of things about my position, while neatly skirting around the actual wording. Here's my reply: As an American Christian, I have freedom of choice to choose my Pastor. I do not have spiritual freedom to belittle (eph 5:12)  a man or be bitter (heb 12:15). If you chose to follow someone you now feel somehow took away your free will, then who is using circular reasoning in their bitter rants? Your diatribes are nothing more than proof that a root of bitterness has taken hold and now you have the same problem as the rich man who is burning in hell right now. (I am not saying I think you are unsaved, don't misrepresent me ((again))). The rich man tried to tell Abraham how to win his brothers. Like the guy in hell knows better how to win souls than the guy in paradise. Come on, now! Bitterness has rooted, and now, it seems, you need to denigrate the person you blame for it. You may be smarter than the next guy, but God uses the foolish things to confound people who think they are smarter than Him. I chose my Pastor in spite of (and partly because of) his humanity, and as a deacon, I get to see a lot of his humanity. If I choose to leave, I will not ever speak of him in a negative way. The man of God is protected by God, not by me. God will judge each of us including me and you. Using Biblical wisdom, I believe that any negative statements about any person saved or lost, from Jack Hyles to Osama bin Laden (spectrum spread!) should be used only for historical reference so that future generations can learn what did, and what didn't work. When I hear someone behind a pulpit allow their humanity to put down a certain person, I tune it out. If I'm tuning out a lot of preaching, I know I need to find a man of God that isn't disconnected from my God. My whole point is that if you want to blame a man for leading you and you falling into a ditch when he didn't, I can't put much stock into your reasoning. It seems to me from your assumptions about what I "really meant", that you have become exactly what you are "preaching" against. Believe as you wish, but you are already paying a high price for talking against a man of God who isn't even pastoring a church any more. As tntmom said, "get over" it, and like I said last time, "have you so little faith" in God? I'll let God deal with it (him, them, etc.) while I just obey the 400yr old English KJAV. (King James Authorized Version). And I'll try to check back here more often. Rick S.

Rick said...

Oh, and he didn't resign for health reasons. Get your facts right instead of believing every wind....if you want some facts, I can give you my number or Pastor's. We've both had the same numbers since cell phones came out. Rick S.

David T. said...

Rick,

The Grays are what they are. I don't agree with them, and I don't agree with their "pastorology" if you will. My focus is on what I feel is a flawed (Biblically flawed) model of church leadership.
I don't think I have made a lot of personal accusations against them here, except my opinion that their model of church leadership is unbiblical. Others on this thread have made more personal accusations, which I probably should have moderated.
I furthermore am not in condemnation of you. You can only serve God in accordance with where you are at in your Christian life right now. It's a part of having a clear conscience.

Rick said...

My thoughts run to prov 17:19. We honor people who have made many mistakes but chose to continue to grow in grace as you have mentioned repeatedly. Some people end up going the wrong way because they don't "feel" that the light is right. They would rather go with their "feelings" than with the "light" that is called the "Word". It is clear that we do not hail to the same final authority. Mine is God in print in my birth tongue. (acts 2:8, jn 1:1-5, ps 12:6,7). I do not look down on you for disagreeing, nor do I take offense to your condescension. My Bible gives authority to the pastor of the church. It stops far short of the catholic style of authority you described earlier.   If the books(s) you read have different words, then they do not have the "Word", because things that are different, are not the same. Once you chose to enlighten (?) your understanding of the "Word" with man's words (from the catholic church) you stepped away from the "Light", and into the arms of "anything but". I believed all the things in the Word as I do now for many years before I heard of Dr. Gray or LBT, and after carefully and prayerfully considering 4 different (well known) churches in this nation to move my family to for spiritual growth, I found LBT to be the only one that held their standards with the Bible. (I did not check every church, and have discovered others since, but I know God lead me here just like I know my name).    I don't think I or any other man are perfect, but I do know I have had to go against my humanity and my feelings in order to keep me and my family in line with the "Word". Feelings got man kicked out of Eden. I would think a Bible scholar such as yourself would learn from that 6000 year old mistake. Satan can take an old trick and make it look so good! Rick S. 

quiverfull said...

I am a former member from 2001. Tell me could you imagine Jesus calling women Heffers? The bible says Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. Well anyone that has ever been to LBT knows what I am talking about. I don't think of Bob Gray as a man of God. I will not go into detail but he is a child molester hider and I am not talking about Russel either. I just will end by saying this to Bob Gray Sr. "for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." For what my daughter endured from the ungodly counsel of you and another. I wonder how many more you have hide out in that church?

trust the facts said...

Incredible, how even after thousands of years there are still people today whom are as equally uneducated as they were during the superstitious days of talking snakes and living inside of fish, and of course the teachings of a man who was followed by heretics. Don't worry, keep opening your wallets until Jesus fills it with heavenopoly money. What does god need your tithes for anyway, nothing worldly should matter to him

Jacob roche said...

I Love Jesus!! woohoo. just fall in love with Jesus; and don't worry what man may say.

Kirby Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirby Harris said...

@tntmom2002...All Christians are men of God, not just preachers.

Steve G said...

Yeah, Gray is slime; thousands of wrecked lives behind him. He tried to ruin mine & I've seen him ruin others. I wish there were a hell for him to go to; he certainly deserves it