You may not have been following the situation in Naples, Florida, involving First Baptist Church. In that case, you are probably unaware of yet another example of the alleged abuse of power and position by the pastoral and leadership elite of this local church ministry.
It is a shocking account, from the vantage of a number of the 700 members who left First Baptist Church over the previous year!
Their account highlights an all too repeated pattern within ministries and local churches across America — the use and abuse of the constitutionally stated procedures of church policy AND the twisted application of Matthew 18 to seemingly accomplish the self-serving goals of its leadership.
Dissenting members were disciplined out of the church for standing against the calling of a new senior pastor, Marcus Hayes.
“church members who have been removed from membership over their opposition to the appointment of Marcus Hayes . . . . . To make matters worse, FBC Naples is implementing church discipline procedures which are in direct violation to those set forth by Jesus in Matthew 18. Rather than bringing members who are accused of sin before the church body for examination, members are being removed from the church rolls through actions taken directly by deacons and pastoral staff without a vote of the church body. In addition to this ungodly action . . . .”
Apparently, some of the 19 members who were excommunicated produced an “Open Letter Video Account” relating their experience!
Yes, there is a pattern which marks leadership in ministries and local churches that abuse and use position and power to accomplish their self-serving ends.
Christianity Today Link:
That week, First Baptist’s deacons voted to remove from membership at least 18 people as an act of church discipline. One of those disciplined members, Bob Caudill, a former deacon and member of the pastor search committee, was told his expulsion came as consequence of breaking the church covenant, failing to protect the church’s unity, not acting in love, gossiping, and failing to follow church leaders.
But Caudill told Christianity Today a different story. He said he and 17 others who also received church discipline from the deacons raised questions about Hayes that had nothing to do with racism but that stemmed from at least seven months of church conflict.
See Julie Roys for other examples of the use and abuse of power and position by local church pastors and leaders.