Monday, January 02, 2006

No Nostradamus Predictions Here, Just Educated Guesses on the ABC Crisis

"This year, as the PSW departs the ABC, other regions may well be emboldened to act. Messages I have receieved from all across the nation bear witness that several other regions may well follow PSWs lead." - Dr. Glenn Layne

I have also received information from other regions supportive of the PSW actions. One well placed observer made the following prediction:

"I do believe the ABC-USA is well on its way to imploding. Regions may not leave in mass like the PSW, but watch the continuing distancing from VF that will come about by inidividual churches, and even Regions flying under the radar over the next two years. It will be a defacto disentegration, and Roy will be the responsible master architect."

Support for this trajectory is seen in the implications of the name change in the region formerly known as American Baptist Churches of the West, the diversion of money from the Unified Buget by increasing numbers of churches throughout the country, and by denominational statistics released by Valley Forge.

Money remains the tip of the sword in much of the debate. During the past few months efforts were made to play "good cop/bad cop" by VF personnel. John Sundquist, with the blessing of Dr. Medley, toured key mission giving churches, making appointments with their pastors. Several of the pastors have explained the message as one of clever persuasion theory. One summed it up this way: "Sundquist came in, lamented the way the idiots were mucking things up in Valley Forge, but shruggled his shoulders and said 'what can you do, we're family.'"

His appointments supported Medley by the novel tactic of agreeing with pastors in most/all of their criticisms of all things Valley Forge, offering his own "insider tips" on how bad things really are, but making a plea for sticking with the "family," offering faint hopes of change in the future. Smart strategy, but too clever by half. One of the pastors laughed at the thought that John actually thought that pastors of significant giving churches would fall for the transparent ploy.

Look for little official action in other regions until AFTER PSW takes a vote of the churches on April 29. The direction of the decision and the magnitude of the plurality/majority may prove influential in other regions. But, don't be surprised if the prediction of gradual disintegration mentioned earlier in this blog turns out to be the actual mechanism of dissolution.

Dennis E. McFadden

[Claiming no Nostradamus-like predictive ability nor connection to any PSW entity; just blogging what I see through my "99 Cents" store telescope]

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