Thursday, April 13, 2006

Who Watches the Watchers When They Go Over the Top? - Watchdog "His Barking Dog" Eats Crow

Eating crow is never tasty, particularly when it comes as a response to hurting good people. After reading the “over the top” press release from the ABNS regarding last week’s General Executive Council meetings, my sense of irritation overcame what should have been my restraint and good sense. In response to the outlandish rhetoric from Valley Forge, I cited the comments of two GEC members who had communicated with me. Their words were informal, personal, and casual in tone and should not have been used by me to balance the official statement.

My blog has evidently made it to the “powers that be” within the ABCUSA and frantic efforts are reportedly underway to “out” the sources of the quotations. Emails have been circulated among GEC members and several executive ministers have reportedly weighed in, all with something negative to say about my judgment in publishing the quotations or challenging my veracity. Some have even suggested that there may be some doubt as to whether the citations were even genuine at all.

I hereby apologize to those who have provided me with insights, context, and perspective regarding all things ABC. In the future I pledge to treat casual banter and informal conversation as private rather than using it as counterpoint to official statements and press releases, regardless of the provocation.

As to the accuracy of the quotations, however, readers should know that I do have proof of the veracity of my reporting, regardless of my poor judgment in using it. And, as to the substance of the meeting, after action reports point to a greater seriousness about the depth of the problems facing the denomination at this time. In reports from Cheryl Wade and in open discussions, it looks as if a greater soberness to the difficulty and greater openness to the need for thorough discussion in the future were present in the sessions. These trends bode well for meetings to take place later this spring and during the summer.

[His Barking Dog barks, growls, and sometimes chases cars without any connection to the powers or authorities within any entity in the PSW. Sometimes the barking becomes a nuisance and irritates the wrong people. Sorry!]


Dave Miller said...


It takes a special person to be able to accept correction and acknowledge when they might have erred, especially publicly. Thank you for that and your continued analysis of what is happening in the ABC. While I am not always in agreement, I appreciate your help and information in understanding the current issues facing us as a denomination, or association, depending on your understanding.

Regarding the new vision that we are supposedly realizing, I would say that it seems to be more of a hoped for statement of who we are, as opposed to who we are becoming. Where are the "We will be", "We will do", "We will strive for" phrases that you see in most visionary statements?

As a fellow life long ABC person, this seems like another pithy statement designed to help us feel good with no implementation or action required. If in fact it is who we are, perhaps we would not be struggling with depressed membership, church closures, and lack of any real impact in our communities.

Thanks for your continued ministry both at Atherton and here at "His Barking Dog."

beacon churches said...

Dennis I have always appreciated your graciousness. What a privelege to share time with you. And I appreciate your sensitivity to the plight of friends in high places who are expected to be 'secret keepers'.

May I suggest that secret keeping is not the only sign of a disfunctional system. Here is another: misplaced blame.

Still commending your sensitivity, but an approriate response by execs who want the disfunction to end is to publish the truth. An appropriate response to the secret keepers who want to punish them for 'leaking' is to tell the secret keeping police to pound sand. The problem is not you. It is not that your friends shared what was going on. The problem is that those protecting the disfunctional system have the gall to think they have the right to keep secrets from their constituency.

So who should be redfaced here? The same persons who are trying to figure out who leaked what to whom.

One more sign of a disfunctional system. The system takes voice away from the ones innappropriately blamed. They want the right to spin things their way and they want to deny you the right to express your viewpoint.

You wrote"Quote:
I hereby apologize to those who have provided me with insights, context, and perspective regarding all things ABC. In the future I pledge to treat casual banter and informal conversation as private rather than using it as counterpoint to official statements regardless of the provocation.

This is just a first step to getting you to agree to make everything private. I am just emerging from that dark place. Don't let them deny to you what they reserve for themselves. Keep your voice.

I pray that the Lord keeps you strong, sensitive, and brave; a man of integrity. You frankly have been an inspiration to me. Be of good courage my friend.

Art Jaggard

jesuit spy said...

Dennis - I'm not sure why you apologize. If those who pass along comments don't want them made public they should tell you. If the GEC or the VF junta gets upset who cares? It stinks when more energy is spent tracking down leaks than dealing with substantive problems openly.