The Raping of The Bride
Seventh Circuit, Supreme Court Justices Stevens And Rehnquist Refuse To Stay Judge Sarah Evans Barkers Order To Vacate Baptist Temple Property. Church Ordered Out By High Noon November 14. Decision Made Before A Final Judgment In Case Given. Marshals Seize Unprotected Church Parsonage. Motion Filed For Certiorari To The Supreme Court. Members Stripped Buildings Of All Personal Property In Four Days. Nearly 1000 Waited For Marshals To Arrive But Noon Came And They Didnt Come. As of December 12 (30 Days later) Hundreds Of Preachers And Concerned Christians Have Occupied The Church Sanctuary In Continual Worship Services. Church Continues To Meet For Regular Services. Many Have Been Saved. Thousands Attend As A Redress Of Grievance Against The Court Order.
By Dr. Greg Dixon
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And He saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And He saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. (Rev. 19:7-9)
Severing a church from its building is akin to severing a soul from its body, or a family from its home. Just as the body is the tabernacle (temporary dwelling place) for the soul, and a house is the dwelling place for the family; the church building is the dwelling place of the Lords Assembly. Paul said to Timothy, his son in the ministry, But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (I Tim. 3:15) This passage alone should settle the continual argument as to whether churches should own property, or the constant admonition from some of our heavenly minded friends that we shouldnt worry about losing our church property because after all the church isnt the building, but rather the people. But, try to sever their soul from their body or their family from their home and they will shout bloody murder. It always amazes me that we have more regard for our own homes than we do Gods house. The prophet Haggai, referring to the Temple, said to ancient Israel, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? God loves the church house, which is the place where Gods people assembles as the Lords church, just as He loved the Temple of old.
I love every memory of my home church, the Wichita Baptist Tabernacle, where I grew up not only physically but in Christ from the time that I was saved at 14 until I left for Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri at 18. My parents were not saved at the time, and my pastor, Dr. Art Wilson, and his precious wife, Elaine, were not only my spiritual parents, but also in many ways my physical parents in their training and supervision. Every memory of the old Tab brings tears to my eyes after these forty plus years. It wasnt much in the way of the wealthy churches in Wichita, Kansas, but it suited us just fine. The first time I attended at the age of 7 there were still dirt floors and open steel rafters. It was literally my home for those tender teen years. It was holy ground where powerful sermons challenged my heart and the great songs of the faith stirred my soul. Would to God that I could hear those preachers preach again from that pulpit – Harvey Springer, Victor Sears, Clifford Clark, Bill Frerking, Bill Anderson, and so many more. Who could ever forget that black group called the Gospel Jubilee Singers. And, Oh, the teen times in the youth department. Only God knows where I would be if it wasnt for the old Tab. Its not there anymore…they merged with another church, and there is a nicer building in a better part of town with a more sinner friendly name…but Oh, those memories…they just wont go away….they just keep on lingering on, and, thank God, they always will.
The young people, especially at the Indianapolis Baptist Temple, are going through the same nostalgic times as they have been driven not only from their church building, but also from their school by District Judge Sarah Evans Barker with ample help from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago and Justice John Paul Stevens and Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on the Supreme Court of the United States. 14 were seniors who will not graduate from Baptist High as 29 classes did before them. For many others, it was the only school that they had ever known. When the school closed its doors on November 10 there were still 135 hanging on to the hope that they would still have a school the following Monday. There were approximately 500 students in the school when the Internal Revenue Service first moved on us with $3.2 million in phony liens on March 1, 1994. Obviously, from what the US Attorney Douglas Snoeyenbos told the Judge, the goal of the Clinton/Reno Justice Department is not the collection of taxes, but to destroy the church and especially the school ministry in particular. He said that if she didnt make us begin paying the payroll taxes that the school, would continue to operate.
That goal has been met. There are no students meeting at the Baptist Temple today. The halls are empty, the gym is silent, the class rooms already beginning to deteriorate. No happy voices in the lunch room or library. None playing in the park. The buildings have been gutted of all valuables. Schools in the area have cannibalized science equipment and other things at our request. The buildings and property that appraised for $6 million dollars recently now could not be sold, no doubt, for a quarter of that amount. The three parsonages on the property where pastors and their families lived are now vacant and already are being vandalized. Some of the damage has been done by the students themselves. The walls are filled with solemn words where they relieved their frustrations against the expected marshals and the courts. Some took pieces of the gym floor and others the doors from their lockers as a keepsake to remind them of those precious school days. All of this is more amazing when you realize that this has all come about because Judge Barker wanted to be sure and protect the governments interest.
We wish that space would permit us to print all of the sayings that the students left on the wall, but following are a few selections: You may take away our building with memories locked inside, but you can never take away our God because in Him we will abide! Rachael Ward God loves us and you. Hannah Dixon, one of he pastors daughters. I am in 2nd Grade. Rom. 8:28-God is in control! My name is April! You can take our building, but you cant take our friendship and worship from us, only God can and He wont! Im the oldest of Pastor Dixons 4 daughters! If Im correct from knowing him for 16 years, its not an easy thing to do to shut him up-Especially when hes right! Besides God is on our side, and thats all that really matters! Shannon Barkers ORDER TO VACATE dated September 28 was quite clear: By our previous entry dated August 28, 2000, we ordered Defendants, Gregory J. Dixon and Indiana (sic) Baptist Temple, to show cause why this Court should not enforce the final Judgment in favor of the United States and recently affirmed by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals…Defendants submission,…merely repeats prior arguments which we have previously ruled upon and found unavailing. We conclude that a further stay is unwarranted and enforcement of the Courts final Judgment should now proceed…We accordingly GRANT the United States motion for an order requiring Defendants to vacate the premises by 12:00 oclock noon Tuesday, November 14, 2000 from the real property located at 2711 South East Street and 339 W. Cragmont Drive…IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the United States Marshal is authorized and directed to enforce this order at any time that he deems appropriate…using force as necessary…any and all persons acting in concert with, or on behalf of, the Defendants…who fail to vacate…shall be subject to being found in contempt…of the Court, which may subject such person to incarceration, or fine, or both… In that as of this printing of The Trumpet hundreds of people, including women and children, are still in the church buildings and the marshals have not come. The Judges Order has not been carried out. A blessed Camp Meetin atmosphere prevails in the nightly services which begin each evening at seven. Several have come in from the streets to ask the way of Salvation. Some have called by phone to tell us that they are getting right with God. The preaching and singing is some of the greatest that we have ever heard.