20 January 2006

SBTC removes church over homosexuality controversy


Jan 17, 2006
By Jerry Pierce
Baptist Press
BAYTOWN, Texas (BP)-—The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s executive board has acted unanimously to disaffiliate a church for violating the convention’s constitutional provision concerning churches that “affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior.”

The SBTC credentials committee and two SBTC staff members met Dec. 20 for one hour and 45 minutes with the pastor of Faith Harbour -- previously an SBTC congregation in Baytown -- with a redemptive aim, SBTC minister-church relations director Deron Biles wrote in a summary of the meeting.

Biles recounted that the committee hoped to clarify Faith Harbour’s stance toward a church it is helping sponsor and allowing to meet in its facilities, which bills itself on its website as welcoming and affirming of homosexual, bisexual and trangendered people.

Additionally, the new church, Eklektos, has a female senior pastor. Biles said the committee and Faith Harbour pastor Randy Haney were unable to resolve their differences over Faith Harbour’s involvement with Eklektos.

SBTC board chairman Joe Stewart, pastor of First Baptist Church of Littlefield, said the board followed the biblical guidelines of Matthew 18 in confronting an erring brother with hopes of restoration.

“The credentials committee went through that process,” Stewart said, “and sat down and talked with the pastor about what constitutes a church that they are hosting in their building which has a female pastor and basically affirms the homosexual lifestyle.

“One cannot be presenting the life-changing Gospel to homosexuals and at the same time affirm the lifestyle,” Stewart continued. “When we sign an agreement to be a part of the SBTC, we have those theological parameters that we live and abide through and that is part of what makes us unique and distinct.

“The door is still open for them to reconcile if they will just agree to abide by the theological parameters of the SBTC,” Stewart added. “Although we want to reach out to people caught in sin, at the same time we can’t affirm the lifestyle.”

Article III of the SBTC’s constitution states: “… Among churches not in cooperation with the Convention are churches which act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior.”

South Texas Baptist Association, of which Faith Harbour was a member, presented the church a letter notifying them of the association’s intent to disaffiliate them the same day the SBTC credentials committee met with Haney.

Haney appeared to allude to the situation on the church’s Internet blog Jan. 10.

“It always amazes me how much people hate those who try to get out of the box and take the message of Jesus Christ to those who are considered unclean,” Haney wrote. “Now that I think about it, that was part of what the Jews hated about Jesus. How dare we defile the sanctuary by inviting sinners to come and be a part of hearing the message of Christ! Doesn’t the Bible make it plain and clear that we are all sinners? Isn’t our righteousness only found in Christ and Him alone?”

The Eklektos website states: “This community of Christians is especially called to welcome and affirm people who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered. We are a diverse group of disciples -- diverse in age, race, gender, ideology and sexual orientation. We are united in Christ and in the affirmation that all people are loved and called by Christ to be His disciples and to be a part of His healing/reconciling work in the world.”

The SBTC consists of more than 1,700 churches in a confessional fellowship with one another -- a unique arrangement among the 41 state and regional conventions that cooperate as Southern Baptists.


The Harbour is the 'other' church of which I am a member in Baytown. And we are so totally pwning the SBTC. I'm really annoyed that part of their argument against Randy is that he was allegedly letting a woman be a senior pastor. Come out of the dark ages already, people (for this reason, I am glad that I am primarily Lutheran).

The AP has picked up this story, and it's been on the news in Houston. This is going to be huge, and the couple that have the vendetta against Randy and Nelda and started all of this mess are going to feel like total idiots.

BTW, this is me gloating and not being a good Christian. That is my disclaimer. I'll attempt to be charitable about it later. Right after I finish laughing/cringing at the irony that this particular couple are the people who I let stay with me in my apartment during the evacuation when I already didn't like them. I don't think they took kindly to receiving kindness from a homo. I could point out that I only did it to alleviate the suffering of their children, but I don't think it would help.

11 January 2006

I Want My Mommy!...or a girlfriend.

At around half past eight last night, I began to breathe again. I think it was around then. I just happened to notice, right as Geena Davis was fixing one of her generals with a stern glare, that I could breathe through my nose. And there was much rejoicing.

At about midnight, I started coughing.

By two, I was coughing so hard that it was actually making me retch.

It was at this point that I realised that I was screwed. I have the same plague that my mother had last week. I tried to lie down and sleep but was interrupted in increasingly shorter intervals by coughing fits rivaled only by the end of Les Miserables. I scurried around in one of my unpacked boxes, praying that the codeine cough syrup I had gotten as prescription when I had pneumonia at A&M was still with me.

No such luck. It is probably expired by now anyway. By now it was around four, and I started a search for a twenty-four hour Walgreens in my vicinity. The nearest is, for reasons unknown to me, six miles off. Apparently people in South Austin do not get sick in the middle of the night. I then remembered that my friendly local H-E-B is twenty-four, so I bundled up, got in my car, and managed to make it over there with only two fits of coughing.

I wandered in, the glare of the flourescent lighting blinding me, and tried to remember where the medicine aisle is in this particular H-E-B. Fortunately, it was close to where I was and I walked over to the cough and cold section.

There are approximately seven thousand, eight hundred ninety-five different varieties of cough and cold medicine. There's pills, gel caps, caplets with the tiny beads inside of them, and liquids. There's DayQuil, NyQuil, H-E-BQuil, Tylenol, Aspirin. Flu. Cold/Flu. Cold/Flu/Cough, Sore Throat, Sore Throat and Congestion, Congestion only (someone should spill a truckload of that on 35), Sinus/Sore Throat, and Cold/Flu/Cough/Sore Throat/Mad Cow/Congestion. All of these come in day and nighttime varieties for your sleep inducing needs.

Standing there, looking not-quite-so bewildered as I was a woman maybe a couple of years older than me. She nodded politely and we commiserated over the unseemly variety. She mentioned that she got to be her boyfriend's caretaker as he is extremely ill at the moment, and asked if I was there for myself or for a significant other. I replied, of course, in the former, she replied her hope that I feel better, and went on her way.

It was at this point that I realised that this persona with which I have been saddled is not necessarily so much out of some personality trait that I have, but more out of circumstance. Due to my current living arrangements, and indeed my past living arrangements, I -have- to take care of myself. Or I'll die.

On the drive back home, it occurred to me that I am probably not the pillar of strength and the purveyor of intimidation for which I am apparently famous. It just so happens that I've had to adapt to situations where I deal with my own illness, my own injuries. I've never had a roommate except for that short while at A&M, and she was so busy with her own self that she would not have noticed had I carked it, much less offered to pick up my codeine for me.

In other words...I'm not so much the scary softball team captain as much as the little girl that wants to be held, loved, and taken care of when she's sick. I do not mind being the team captain for a little while, because I do want to take care of the people I love. Someday soon, though, I'd like to be in a situation where someone will go to H-E-B for NyQuil for me.

05 January 2006

Warning: Self-righteous Religious Diatribe Ahead

Pat Robertson has declared that God smote Ariel Sharon for withdrawing from Gaza. Sounds like he and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should meet for drinks since they both think so little of the guy. I reckon they'd get along just peachy.

Robertson needs to get a life already. If God were passing out diseases and cerebral haemorrhages for sinning (not that I evenmuch agree that withdrawing from Gaza was a sin), then we'd all be stroking out, twenty-four seven. I'd have probably carked it by now. Of course, the fact that Sharon is seventy-seven and hideously overweight is totally not a reason for him to have a stroke. Medical science? Oh hell no! Can't have any of that! SIN! SIN, I tell you!

Hey Pat, what sin was it that my great-grandmother committed when she had a stroke in 1998? What did my grandma do when she died of cancer in 2000? Did I get this head cold because I stubbed my toe and cussed last week? God is NOT an almighty accountant, loser. If He were, your ass would be toast, bastard. And so would mine, and so would everyone else's.

Get a life, and/or get off the air, dude.

Incidentally, since when is only Israel "God's Land"? What is He, Walt Disney? The whole joint is His land, dumbass. He created it. All His. Sooner that everyone figures that one out, the better off we'll be. One million people watch the 700 Club every time it airs. So at least one million people are being influenced by this asshat, who thinks:

-- We should assassinate Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela. I'm sorry, what? So does that mean that random fuckwits from other countries can call for Bush's head? Hmm?

-- San Francisco should be left to the terrorists.

-- Dover, Pennsylvania is going to be smote.

-- Oh, and the homos are responsible for every hideous thing that happens. Especially the World Trade Center. Because me and Aud were flying the planes and all. Asshat.

Someone seriously needs to get this dude off the air. He's so busy making money that he's apparently forgotten the greater part of the New Testament, if he ever knew any of it (or followed it) at all.

On behalf of my fellow fuckwit Christians, I apologise. I swear we aren't all like that.

04 January 2006

Clutch City.

It happened over a period of time, but also all at once. For nearly a month, there had been a slight grinding noise whenever I'd hit the clutch pedal, but I assumed it was due to the sudden cold weather. But then the weather warmed up and the noise did not take its leave. I asked my daddy about it and he went into a long lecture on the mechanics of a standard transmission. I humoured him, though I knew about three-quarters of what he was saying to me already. In the end, Daddy concluded that something called a "throw-out bearing" was probably the cause of the problem, but that I probably did not need to worry about it today.

Well...Daddy is allowed to be wrong on occasion too. Even about cars.

The clutch carked it halfway between the West Loop and the West Belt. At a quarter to five this afternoon. Stop and go traffic. I had noticed about the time I hit the West Loop that the motion of the clutch pedal was slightly crunchy feeling when I had to shift back down to fourth once. Shortly thereafter, as I was considering whether or not to get off onto the access road, a loud, obnoxious, whistle/screech began to emanate from beneath the hood.

I had gotten off on the access road by now, and was shifting without hitting the clutch -- at about eighteen hundred rotations per minute, you can shift gears in my car without grinding the gears. I was incredibly thankful for this quirk of mechanics because without it I'd be waiting for a tow truck that I cannot afford. The problem with this, however, is that you cannot shift into first from a dead stop, even if you rev the engine up to eighteen hundred.

Therefore, every time I had to shift into first (which happened about six thousand eight hundred forty-three times), I had to hit the clutch and endure the evil noise.

After about another hour of progressing in this manner, I managed to get to Katy, fifth gear, eighty miles per hour, and got into Austin just fine. I timed the three traffic lights in Bastrop well enough that I didn't have to hit the clutch again, and didn't have a problem until I got to Lamar and Seventy-one, at which point my car chose to stall out. I restarted and managed to only receive the finger twice -- both times from white women in yuppiemobiles.

I got home and made dinner since I had been digesting myself since before La Grange, and considered the problem of paying the rent. The furthest I've ridden on my bike at a time since I've lived here this fall is from my house up to Fifteenth Street, and the management company is on Twenty-fourth. Up a killer hill. I slept on the idea, and then inexplicably awoke at a quarter past one. I figured there was little enough traffic that I could take my car. I did not think the clutch situation could get that much worse.

I was mistaken.

The only way to stop the whistling/screeching while idling was to turn off the engine. I managed to get stuck at the San Gabriel/Twenty-fourth light both coming and going. And on the way back, it was bad enough that if the engine was running at under two thousand rotations per minute, the screech got its continuous screech on.

I've since looked up repair shops. I'm glad I live where I do, right in the middle of everything, because there are thirty mechanics within a mile of my place. I'm worried about driving though, even that much. Aamco will tow; I hope that an independent mechanic will do the same.

Looks like I'm going to be doing well with my exercise resolution. Lots of bike riding in my future.

03 January 2006


A couple of days late. Oh well.

1) Fifteen pounds. End of February. Gone. The End. It irritates me that Sheryl Crow is my mother's age and has a better body than me. Shallow? Yes. Too bad. I'm twenty-two years old, and it's ridiculous for AARP members to be outrunning me on the Town Lake trail.

2) I'm going to be kinder to people. I'm terrible about that and highly inconsistent. I'm not sure how I'm going to go about it; I think it will take some fundamental change, but I'm not sure what precisely it is that makes me unable to 'be sweet' as it were. So I guess I'll spend a lot of time pinning that down first.

3) I spend too much money on myself and so I'm going to stop that.

4) As part of 3), I am not going to buy more than ten books this year. Excluding school books.

5) I am going to read at least two books that I have not yet read every month.

6) I'm going to start sleeping like a normal person. Like...I'm going to get up every morning by eight. No matter what.

7) I will try harder to love unselfishly. That's a difficult one.

8) I will write, creatively, or at least semi-creatively, every day.

9) I will not be afraid. Also difficult.

The End. So far.

01 January 2006

It was a dark and foggy night...

So, at about half past seven, I decided that I would not spend New Year's Eve alone, threw a few of my clothes into my overnight, and set off on my way to here, where I am at this time, that is to say...Baytown.

I might have mentioned this before, but the only redeeming features of Baytown are Lee College, my parents, both of my churches, Luna's Mexican Restaurant, and my friends. The fact that it's three hours off doesn't help. At any rate, I am here now, after much personal peril and other events.

For a start, y'all might have not noticed this, but it's damn foggy tonight. By the time I got to IH-10, I could barely see the taillights of the cars in front of me, and they weren't all that far away. It thinned out a bit in Houston, but I was on the way to my friend Phil's house because he was going to blow up his Christmas tree. Phil lives in Beach City, which is basically the sticks. The fog east of Baytown was so thick that I couldn't see but about ten feet in front of me and nearly died about forty times because the damn rednecks were shooting off fireworks -right- next to the road, and when you can't see anything, exploding noises kind of freak you out.

Or at least they freak me out.

So, I finally get to Phil's house. Whitney runs out to the road and grabs me in this huge hug and whispers in my ear:

"I HATE these kind of parties!"

The party consisted of Phil and his folks, Whit, Courtlandt, Peter, James...and about forty redneck people from the vicinity with whom Phil had the misfortune to attend high school. And they were drunk. They weren't normal drunk like we get drunk, they were stupid drunk.

One such drunk, hereafter known as "The Confederate", had taken a shine to Whit (because everyone does; she's beautiful) and thus kept talking to us. And then got mad when I responded to his vulgar idiocy with less than polite remarks.

Anyway. The blowing up of the Christmas tree. This was not an inflation as some have seemed to think previously, but rather an explosion. Three thousand Black Cats and two gallons of gasoline. It exploded like whoa. And there will be pictures as soon as I can make my camera work. So that was a good time. Whitney commented that it was a sad way for a Christmas tree to die, but Peter said that it was a quick death, and very humane. I agree. It's a hell of a lot better to go out in a blaze of glory than to get hauled off by the rubbish collectors.

So that happened, and after further sorties by the Confederate, which follow:

Me, to Whitney: There's nothing scarier than driving eighty miles per hour through fog.
The Confederate, for no apparent reason: I know what's scarier than thayut! Driving eighty miles per hour through fog on snow!
Me, to the Confederate: Yeah, well, I'm not -that- stupid.
The Confederate, to me: I've done it!
Me, to the Confederate: Right, like I said. I'm not that stupid.

The Confederate then complained to Phil that I had called him stupid.

He also proceeded to attempt to eviscerate me with his...totally nonexistant wit...and then proceeded to continue to be vulgar in front of Whit and Courtlandt which really made me want to murder him, and then we left.

And went to IHOP, where the rest of the rednecks in the area had gathered, but we all had each other and it was good. The fog is DISTURBINGLY thick, though. It was really scary.

Anyway. That's all the news that is news. Happy New Year, everyone who reads this; I am glad that you all are my friends and I hope that y'all had a Confederate-free evening. I'm not really sure when I'm going to be back; I was going to come back on Monday in time for the writing group, but Whit's having her wisdom teeth out on Tuesday and will be out of pocket for most of the rest of the time she's here...so I might be back Monday night yet, or Tuesday. Not sure.

Next post will be about The Producers. Audrey, it doesn't matter that you don't like musicals. You will love this, I promise, and we must go see it.