Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Strike Two! Medley and Company Fail to Impress at Redlands

On the second stop of their tour of PSW region churches, Roy Medley and his fellow Valley Forge executives failed to impress a gathering at the First Baptist Church of Redlands, CA.

Medley was accompanied by Aisand Wright-Riggins of National Ministries, Charles Jones of International Ministries and Sumner Grant of the M&M Board, as well as his associate from the Office of the General Secretary, Jeff Woods.

Medley denied that the current situation was a "liberal/conservative" issue; instead he called it an issue of either "moving forward in ministry" or not. This was not the only moment of fantasy or denial. Referring always back to the "new vision" of the ABCUSA, he engaged in his own version of "Darn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"

The crowd--only about 65 people--had only 8 senior pastors, most of whom were not sympathetic to Medley's message. A large number of those present were elderly members of the Redlands church.

Medley stated that while "we [had] hoped that the dialogue would continue" with the PSW region, his comments about the issue at hand were indistinguishable from the comments he made at his disaterous forum with PSW leaders on September 7.

Wright-Riggins spoke at length about his upbringing in Southern California and his personal angst at the prospect of a PSW separation. Always charming and winsome, his use of race analogies to the PSW impasse at least implied a racial element in PSW churches and leadership--that PSW separation is separatist and exclusive, bordering on racism. In what was admittedly a throwaway line, Wright-Riggins compared the PSW to a difficult child who has to be "wrestled down" to sit for a family portrait.

To his credit, Dr. Medley aplogized to Dale Salico (who, along with David Gregory of the PSW staff were present) for not sending him a copy of the letter sent to PSW churches.

All in all, the meeting at Redlands turned no heads, changed no minds and impressed no on except those who are Valley Forge loyalists.

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