You may already know that Chan Chandler has resigned as pastor at East Waynesville Baptist Church in North Carolina, having alienated even people who agree with him on abortion and other "values" issues with his politicization of the pulpit.
At least, that's what disgruntled church members say:
Many of those who opposed Chandler's leadership said they agreed with the pastor's positions on abortion and other hot-button religious topics, but disliked linking those beliefs to specific political positions and candidates.
"If we wanted politics, we would stay home and watch it 24 hours a day on TV," said Charles Gaddy, 70. "I like Chan. He can preach a good sermon. I just wish he would keep some things out of the church."
Frank Lowe, 73, a leader of the members who left the church in opposition to Chandler's leadership, said, "I think his duty was to preach God's word and let the people sort out what they want to do."
But Chandler says they're liars -- maybe not in so many words, but that's the upshot of this interview, which appeared in the Southern Baptist Conference's BP News just before Chandler left.
And Chandler can prove they're not telling the truth:
Chandler says to his recollection he has not mentioned politics in any sermon since last fall. "The church has the tapes," he said ...
See? Big fat liars! The evidence is there! Play the tapes!
Er, sorry -- that's not the whole quote:
Chandler says to his recollection he has not mentioned politics in any sermon since last fall. "The church has the tapes," he said, adding that, if such a tape does reveal he made an overt political endorsement, then such a tape "would have been doctored" or the endorsement was "completely unintentional."
Hey, that's plausible, right? People in this rural Smoky Mountains community would painstakingly doctor these tapes, then lie about it, just so they can depart in a huff from a church they've attended for decades?
Or alternatively, Chandler said "Support Bush or burn in hell" by accident?