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May 12, 2005

Pastor of East Waynesville Baptist Church resigns

From WorldNetDaily:

Insisting his words and actions have been misunderstood and misinterpreted, a Baptist pastor accused of forcing the ouster of nine church members due to their political views resigned.

Chan Chandler, 33, of East Waynesville Baptist Church in Waynesville, N.C., told his congregation of about 100 last night that because the Bible teaches that a pastor should not be the cause of dissension, he had "no choice but to resign."

"For me to remain now would only cause more hurt for me and my family," Chandler said at a special business meeting called to address the dispute. "I am resigning with gratitude in my heart for all of you, particularly those of you who love me and my family."

The Baptist Press quotes him as also saying:

"My concern was to give a voice to those who have no voice in our nation today and [who] have their lives terminated before they leave the safety of their mother's womb," he said. "My protest on behalf of pre-born children is non-violent in nature. And since it constitutes a deeply held religious conviction, I continue to believe that America should guarantee that liberty of conscience at all times.

"May God continue to bless every one of you who loves our Lord, who is bringing every area of your lives under His Word."

The turmoil arose from the pastor's sermons, which called for Christians to vote according to their faith. Such a sentiment doesn't sit well with Yellow-dog Democrat pew-sitters who see their party loyalty as far more important than their Sunday-morning country club. Nine members left the church, and when the remaining members voted to remove them from church membership, the nine lied to the secular press, claiming they'd been kicked out by the pastor for not voting for George Bush. As “proof” they offered a tape of one of his sermons which contained the following:

We have a society of preachers who are afraid to get up in the pulpit and speak the truth. There are people in the congregations, leaders – deacons, teachers, Sunday school teachers – people who pay their tithe and let the pastor know it very loudly, that tell the pastor he cannot say anything political. He can say that it's all right for you to support someone that does not support abortion. But you can't name names.

Now, friend, you know and I know abortion is wrong, there's no way around it. But the question then comes in the Baptist Church, how do I vote. Let me just say this right now: If you vote for John Kerry this year you need to repent or resign. You have been holding back God's church way too long. And I know I may get in trouble for saying that, but just pour it on.

Pastor Chandler says he will now finish his degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also noted that he and his family are struggling to get the finances to pay for eye surgery for his 4-year-old son, who is blind.

Posted by Danny Carlton at May 12, 2005 07:56 AM

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