Statement from Board of Directors

May 23, 2018

Connect 316 does not condone, endorse, or approve of Rick Patrick’s remarks. We find them reprehensible and unbecoming of Christian comportment.

We have accepted the resignation of Rick Patrick from Connect 316 and have called upon him to apologize to each individual he insulted and ask for their forgiveness.

Although Rick Patrick was not speaking on behalf of Connect 316 when he made those deplorable remarks, we understand how terribly hurtful they were and would like to extend our apologies to each individual who was maligned.

Dr. Patrick’s comments do not reflect the character, heart, and purposes of C316.

 

-Statement unanimously approved by the Connect 316 Board of Directors

My Heartfelt Apology and Resignation

May 23, 2018

By Rick Patrick

For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. (James 3:2)

I am far from a perfect man. Tuesday afternoon, I learned that a man I greatly admire was fired from his position as a Seminary President. The timing of the charges against him that broke in a Washington Post story took place right in the middle of a board meeting to discuss his future. This seemed very convenient to me at the time, and to a number of people, as if this were a planned “hit job.” Now, I don’t know what to think.

On a private Facebook group, we were discussing how anyone could make any kind of accusation about someone, even from years ago, and they would be assumed to be guilty until proven innocent. I sinned by posting a comment about the worst thing I could think of that a person could do, and then sarcastically imagined five of the people I felt were responsible for the “hit job” doing that thing. I am truly sorry for typing those words. I have reached out by telephone to two of the people and by email to the other three while I attempt to reach them by phone as well. The two I have spoken with have both been gracious.

I posted my comment when I was extremely upset at the news of my ministry hero’s firing. I will not repeat the comment, for it was honestly reprehensible and completely unworthy of Christ. I do not speak of such things in my daily conversation. It is truly not who I am. After lashing out with sarcasm, I realized how wrong I was and removed the post from the private Facebook group after about 90 seconds. However, someone had already taken a screen shot and posted it publicly. My sin was thus exposed on social media.

While I had intended that my sarcasm be directed at those I felt were attacking my hero, because the nature of the charges related to the #MeToo Movement, some people felt I might be minimizing the pain of those who had gone through real hardship, abuse, and suffering. I would never do such a thing. I have a heart of compassion for all people who have endured any type of abuse.

Even preachers make mistakes, and Tuesday I made a big one. I am truly, truly sorry. I am grieved beyond words. I will learn from this. And it will never happen again. If you can find it in your heart to do so, please forgive me.

As I work hard to refocus my life and ministry, having served for five years on the Connect 316 Board as Executive Director, I am resigning and turning the reigns over to new leadership, effective immediately. One of the responsibilities of the Executive Director is to serve additionally as the Publisher of SBC Today, working with the Editor in managing the blog. My thoughts and prayers are with all those who will carry the work forward in the days ahead. I will be praying for the person who steps into this leadership role and carries the work forward from here.

The Power of Love Is Needed Right Now in the American Church

May 23, 2018

By Dr. Ronnie Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church Northwest, AR
President, National Day of Prayer

Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted at Dr. Floyd’s personal blog and is used by permission.

This past Saturday, the world watched Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, an American actress, unite in marriage in their captivating royal wedding.

Michael Bruce Curry, an Episcopalian Bishop from the United States, delivered the message at the wedding. He quoted the powerful words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who once said, “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.”

On This Side of the Pond

While the royal wedding was happening, on this side of the pond, our hearts were breaking from another evil shooting in one of America’s schools, resulting in ten people killed and an additional ten wounded. This time, the shooting occurred on Friday, May 18, in the Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas.

From South Florida to Southeast Texas, this evil knows no boundaries.

What is the answer?

Love Can Help and Heal When Nothing Else Can

As Bishop Curry stated in the royal wedding on Saturday, “There’s power in love. Do not underestimate it.” After quoting from I John 4, reminding everyone to love one another, he later spoke these powerful words, “Love can help and heal when nothing else can.”

It is love like this that will not just hold a marriage together, but it is love like this that has the power to mend over time the broken hearts and lives from the devastation of a school shooting.

While the World is Breaking, the Church in America Needs to Rise Together in This Kind of Love

Since the power of God’s love can help and heal the brokenhearted, the Church in America needs to become so immersed in this love, individually and collectively, that we rise to offer this kind of love in the world today.

The Church in America is facing challenges at every level. At times social media amplifies them before the world. I fully realize these challenges cannot be ignored or minimized. I have never been timid or fearful in dealing with any of them, and I certainly am not now.

Yet, there is a right way to deal with these problems, and it is through the power of love.

The power of love has seen us through problems before and the power of love will see us through again.

Love leads to unity, not division. Love keeps everyone in mind, not just ourselves. Love respects and honors all people.

While this world is breaking before our eyes and making promises it cannot keep, the entire Church in America needs to rise together in love in order to give this world the only thing we can give them that will last forever… the love of Jesus Christ.

When we present this love, it must be real within us individually, but it also must be experienced between us as a family dynamically. This kind of love changes everything.

Let Love Be Our Way Forward

Our world cannot afford for us to be sidelined because of our attitudes. Our world needs us, but more than us, it needs the gospel of Jesus Christ that we are called to advance to every corner of this universe.

Therefore, let love be your way forward. Never let anyone outside of your circle of love.

As Christ followers, we do not just believe in the sanctity of human life, but also in the dignity of human life; that is treating each other in the right way while we are on this earth.

Jesus prayed for us to be one, “so that the world may believe you sent me.” John 17:21

Therefore, let love be our way forward. Through our issues and through our problems, let love prevail through them all.

God’s way is the always the right way. God’s way is always through love.

Regardless of differences, love is still the way forward. We do need to rediscover the way of love, the redemptive power of love. Let love be our way forward.

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