"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Monday, December 3, 2007

Vote on School to be Held on Wed 12/5

Update: Here is link to the article at ethicsdaily.com concerning the vote on whether to have a school at FBC Jax.

FBC Jax Members: even though the pastor didn't mention it on Sunday, apparently there WILL be a vote this Wednesday December 5th in the Wednesday evening service on whether First Baptist Jacksonville should proceed with starting a school. A member has forwarded an email they received last Thursday that says:

Ed Gamble, Executive Director of the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools, has supplied information about opening a school at First Baptist Church Jacksonville and it has been posted on our website. Please visit www.fbcjax.com to download this information for review. The church will vote on plans to begin moving forward with a school on Wednesday, December 5 in the 6:40 Evening Worship Service.

Spread the word. Anybody planning on voting "No"? Be forewarned: the newly formed "discipline committee" will likely be present to see who votes "No".

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I will be voting "no" with my wallet!

Anonymous said...

Sheri said...

Watchdog- Mac Brunson's elitist attitude and complete lack of accountability are truly appalling!!

That Mac would hold a vote on something as far-reaching in magnitude as a school, and not bother to inform the FBC members that this vote is about to take place, tells you just how elitist his thinking has become.

I agree with Watchdog, that we should table a vote until Team Brunson has furnished us with good solid information and feasibility studies.

Instead of bringing in an unknown speaker from Orlando, I would much preferred to have heard from the principals at Eagles View Academy, Providence School, or even Trinity.

And what about our own First At Home home school support group?? Mac completely ignored this dedicated Christian group of families, who sacrifice much so that their children will never have to attend the public schools.

On second thought, we should table this entire discussion until Mac's successor has been at FBC a couple of years. Maybe giving will have rebounded by that time, and some of the Godly Christian pastors who have been forced out will have had a chance to return.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sheri - from what I can tell the church did send an email out to members to notify them of the school vote...I didn't receive one, but it looks like the one forwarded to me came from FBC Jax and was broadcast to their member distribution list; maybe mine was filtered out as spam but I can't find it. Maybe someone else can confirm it.

But you're right, so little real, substantive information has been shared with the congregation about the school and the pros and cons, costs and benefits and risks.

There are two routes he can go: just go ahead and DO THE SCHOOL WITHOUT A VOTE. There is nothing saying we must vote on it.

But if he IS going to bring it to a vote (presumably because he believes it will help garner support for it), don't insult our intelligence by not giving us real information on which to base a vote. If he's had this huge committee working on the school idea for a year, why not have them speak to us. Or have a Q&A session with the committee. But to have this guy from Orlando, who was totally unimpressive and who did NOT address anything about our specific situation, then have Mac tell us how GREAT it is to have people come up to him and tell him they are grads of the school at his church, and then call for a vote....it shows how STUPID he thinks we all are. Now if he had built some level of trust with us, perhaps we might rubber stamp the school...but he's shown to us he can't be trusted.

But make no mistake: the school will be approved Wed night by a very wide margin...there will be many ardent supporters of Mac that will practically scream their "Aye" to intimidate those who might dare to say "No".

And Mac will be on his way.

And the bylaws will have been changed according to his liking.

And he can continue his march.

And he can continue to berate his church members that dare to speak up, during his sermons.

BUT....HE NEEDS MONEY TO DO WHAT HE WANTS. Dave Bristowe and the other trustees know that money talks...Mac better have enough support to get people to dig deep...else he will have trouble.

So, like that Anon above, my no vote will come in the form of a closed wallet to FBC Jax and Mac Brunson.

Anonymous said...

WD - a bit off topic I suppose, but I just found a great Chuck Grassley interview on You Tube that is outstanding. Its about 7 minutes long, but its clear he is the right man to head up these investigations into misuse of donations by mega churches. He deals with the "church governance" and "independent board oversight" issues on approval of salaries for ministers and familiy members.

Go get 'em Chuck!

Senator Grassley Interview

Worshiper said...

Watchdog,
I am sickend by your blog. I, like many others go to the wonderful First Baptist Church of Jacksonville because of the spirit of worship and the blessings God has pour out on His church. To think that there is someone in our midst like you who betrays that spirit of worship and those blessings of God and who seemingly only attends to find fault with the administration and its decisions is sad. I feel sad for you as you must be full of a lot of anger and have little else to do. I will no longer read your blog for when I attend church I want my heart and mind clear. I choose to let God handle the administration of the church. I have my hands full keeping myself right with God. I want to go to church to worship God. I will pray for you Mr. Watchdog. That God will convict your heart of the seeds of contention you are trying to sow in our congregation. Remember, God in not the author of confusion.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Worshiper - You would be wise to never come here to read the blog if it makes you sick, or harms your ability to worship.

Not sure why you say "you let God handle the administration of the church." God does not handle the administration...the administration of the church is handled by men, and if a man or men are doing things they ought not do, if they abuse their powers, I would hope you would be concerned. I perhaps can understand if you say one should not blog about the problems, but to say you "let God handle it"...well, that's what so many people at Trinity said for years - perhaps God is looking for someone like you to speak up and be the instrument through which matters might be "handled".

I do agree God is not the author of confusion. I'm not seeking to confuse anyone if that is the reason for your statement, quite the contrary. The vote on Wednesday night, however, was an attempt to confuse, actually worse than that to deceive, people into voting for something very serious that if they knew what they were voting on would vote no, or have questions about before voting yes. So God is not the author of deception either my friend.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Just some clips to share the two best reasons why we should start a school:

Best Reason to Have a School (no one is home anymore)

2nd Best Reason to Have a School (R U Dr. Brunson?)

Music to Go With 2nd Reason (its all about me)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Just a thought to consider.

If Mac is not giving detailed information to his congregation on which to base a vote (like costs, risks, pros/cons, market research, etc.) I believe there is only one thing he wants you to consider.

Do you "want" one? is what he is asking. Will it make you feel good about your church to have a school? That is it.

Mac is absolutely not wanting you to ask the question: "What is God's will in this matter?". Unless God comes down and whispers in my ear and your ear, the answer to the "What is God's will?" question will be found in seeking out answers to questions like:

1. What will this cost us while we are building enrollment towards a financial break even school?

2. What are the anticipated projected annual revenues and costs from such a school for the next five years, and where will the revenue short falls be made up from the church budget? What year do we anticipate being break even?

3. Is there local support, is there a market, for a downtown Christian school and what do we project this market size is?

4. If there is not enough potential support for a downtown school should we consider starting a school in another part of town?

And other serious questions like that. Perhaps there are answers to these in his "school committee". If so, let them vote on it and leave us out of the matter. But if he's going to ask his congregation to vote, don't insult our intelligence by not giving us the information we need! You already asked us to approve your bylaw changes with no information given - please, don't make it two weeks in a row!

Of course Mac's given us really "helpful" information like:

1. Christian education is good - how much did we pay the guy from Orlando to tell us this?

2. First Baptist Dallas Academy has a school (so what?)

3. Mac obtained notariety for the FBA Dallas school in airplanes, restaurants, and on the street.

4. Mac would like notoriety for this school at Jax in airplanes, restaurants, and on the street.

5. We MUST have one to reach the city for Christ

One through four are true, but irrelevant and not useful in answering the question "What is God's will?"

Number five is just not true.

So therefore Mac wants you just to decide: would it be cool to have a school? Sure! Why not!

I propose that Mac wants us to vote for one reason: so that if the school flops, or our budget goes into a tailspin, he can hang it on us. Since we don't have the necessary information we should either vote no, or abstain from voting.

Anonymous said...

sheri said...

As with everything else, all we need to do is follow the money trail...

then all of the "why" questions will become crystal clear!

Anonymous said...

FBCJW - check out the Ethics Daily article (ethicsdaily.com)about the vote tonight on the new school. For me, the vote is not about whether we need a school or not. We certainly do in this country. We also could use a Christian college and Christian law school. Liberty University is a good example of what "we need" to be doing. The question really is, is this the time and the place for it AND is God in it? The reasons given for having a school are the same ones that have been around for decades, yet Homer Lindsay, Jr and Jerry Vines both felt called and committed to staying focused on the church's first priority and not let other "good" things get them off track. Funny how all of a sudden those reasons they had for not starting a church school are no longer valid.

Personally, I don't think we should move forward yet no matter what one's opinion is on a school because Mac Brunson is NOT the man to lead us. He has already sold out and compromised his integrity and leadership with the private Jewish hospital fundraiser and his accepting a $307,000 piece of land as a gift two weeks after he arrived here.

I will be voting NO tonight! Not to a school, but to a school right now, downtown, led by Mac Brunson. No way.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog - people say this blog is hurting FBC Jax, but what may be actually hurting it more is our pastor's wife driving around town in her Jaguar. I was shocked to see her with two dogs getting out of a beautiful Jaguar. Does anyone else have a problem with this witness/testimony other than me? I don't know, maybe I am just jealous deep down inside. Or maybe I am over estimating what this will cause others to think about our church.

I realize she lives in a brand new 6 bedroom, 4 1/2 bath home on the golf course in a gated country club community, but I think driving around in a Jaguar might make people question her motives in serving the Lord Jesus.

Am I wrong to feel this way?

Anonymous said...

Now you've gone and done it watchdog. There's an article today on ethicsdaily.com about the vote tonight on a school. The article references this so called watchdog web site.

Good press for Mac Brunson - the author gives credit to Mac for his idea that door to door evangelism is dead, and therefore a school is required.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog - I forgot to add that I am not sure of the year or model of the Jaguar, but I do know that new Jaguars go for between $65,000 and $75,000. A used one is about $52,000.00. That seems like a lot of money for our church to be paying for an automobile allowance for the pastor's wife to me. And if she owns it, I would wonder how much she makes as his secretray/administrative assistant. How many other church secretaries, whether they are married to the pastor or not, can afford to drive a Jaguar?

The more I think about it the more it makes me sick. NO WONDER SHE IS ALWAYS SMILING, like Mac likes to say about her.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I didn't know about the Jaguar, but it doesn't surprise me.

For all we know its a gift by one of the donors to the church.

But regardless, I think that harms the church. "There goes that preacher's wife from that big downtown church in her Jaguar." Regardless of where the car came from (gift, car allowance, her own salary), rightly or wrongly, it will be assumed by the lost in Jax to have come from money given by God's people at First Jax for God's work. That is a poor stewardship testimony I think.

But you're right there will be many who say this blog is bad and does worse than her Jaguar. Firstly, the lost world really has no interest in these blogs so there is not much "lost" traffic here...secondly, people blogging about issues at the church shows the world that Christians CAN think, and can disagree...we're not all a bunch of "mind numbed robots" following our pastor...and since "nobody is home anymore" according to Mac, no one is able to read blogs.

Yes, there is an ethicsdaily.com article concerning First Baptist Jax. I was glad to see them put some direct quotes from Mac.

Kathy said...

Dear Members,

If anyone has a valid complaint they can contact the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations. The FBC Bylaws are also public record if you want to request a copy. The names and addresses of board members are also listed at the link below. Write them a letter of concern.


http://www.sunbiz.org/pdf/50526515.pdf


http://www.sunbiz.org

Sara said...

Hi Kathy - thank you for the information. I would, in fact, like a copy of the By-Laws but I don't want to write to request them, or check them out at the library, because I fear that simply by doing so, many (or even a select few) will automatically accuse me of sinning or not loving our pastor. I am concerned I may even face church discipline and be called divisive or asked to leave the church. So unfortunately, I feel intimidated and would ask you if you know of another way to obtain the By-laws?

Would you be willing to get a copy and email it to the Watchdog for me and others who have not requested them for similar reasons.

My husband and I are concerned that there were many substantive changes that were not discussed with us before the vote last week.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I found this article online from The Dallas Morning News, Feb. 19, 2006. I will attach the link at the bottom of the post if anyone wants to check it out for themselves.

It looks like Mac left First Dallas $11 million in debt. How much will FBC let him and his family take before they give him the boot?

Story flushed him out
Re: “Couldn’t you wait a day?”
by Jan Weaver, Tuesday Letters.

Mac Brunson is a secretive person
and would not have said anything
last Sunday about leaving
the church had it not been published.
Thanks to your paper, he
had to “come clean.”
In this church, Dr. Brunson
keeps everything private. If the
members have an opinion, they
are wrong.
I am a member of First Baptist
Church of Dallas, and I am a very
hurt person, along with many others.
He tore down the best building
the church owned and now is
leaving us with $11 million in debt.
"I just hope they accept Dr.
Brunson to pastor the First Baptist
Church of Jacksonville, Fla., before
he does any more damage
here.
Pat Palmer, Irvings
http://www.snpa.org/CircuitContestAwards/McKenzie1a.pdf

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Here is the link to Anon's article.

Article

Eariler this year, prior to this blog there was another First Baptist Jax blog that started in the Jan-Feb 2007 time frame.

Very active on that blog were FBC Dallas members that chimed in to give their experiences with Mac Brunson, most of them critical of his tactics in getting the church to build the Criswell Center. There were some members who were very unhappy with the demolition of the historical building making room for the Criswell Center (but seemed to be in the great minority). Also, as I recall from that blog the original plan was to do the building debt free, but that the costs kept increasing and they ended up millions in debt. That is why many FBC Dallas members were upset at his leaving - they felt he dug them into a financial hole and then bolted for greener pastures after God spoke to him while riding a donkey during a Holy Land trip. Another recurring theme from the Dallas members was that Mac decimated their staff leaving a huge gap in leadership when he left.

But they apparently had a very loving, humble man who came as their interim pastor to help their congregation heal, and it appear their new pastor also is doing a great job.

Ghost said...

Any details on the school vote this evening? Did anyone stand up and oppose Mac on this?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Ghost - I wasn't present and didn't get to see the live feed.

Anyone know what happened?

Anonymous said...

There was no vote tonight. The pastor is witnessing to some UN Ambassadors, as well as teaching some UN employees, in NY.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Robert - if you have relevant information about issues discussed here, like answers to the many questions raised here that have not been answered, if you have some thoughtful opinions about the issues discussed, please post. I don't mind dissenting opinions here, but claiming slander, and criticizing bloggers for blogging - well you'll have to blog about that on your own blog sir.

Matt Steele said...

I think that you should all be ashamed. If you post as "anonymous" or under some sort of psuedonym that obscures who you are, you are disobeying the Scriptures and displaying a particular brand of cowardice.

I suggest that those who have written and posted here re-read Matthew 18, repent and ask for forgiveness from those that you have slandered, or failed to confront face-to-face in the light of day. Hiding behind this blog gives glory to the devil and does nothing to further the kingdom.

If I was not a Christian, this blog would do nothing to show me the love of Jesus Christ or that there is anything different about the life of a Christian from those who are in the world. I am disappointed that those who name themselves as those who follow the Prince of Peace would act as such.

If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless.
James 1:26 (NASB)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Matt - Sir, I would look at your self-righteous attitude first before proclaiming that those who choose to post here need to repent, and examine your own heart before you spout scripture that our religion is worthless. If a non-Christian is reading this, I contend that it is your high-and-mighty attitude toward those who are discussing serious issues in their church that harms the cause of Christ...or perhaps, God forbid, its the pastor that might be harming the cause of Christ for his poor choices and silence in the face of questions his congregation has. So come off your high horse Matt and if you have anything to comment on besides passing your judgement on the bloggers, you are welcome to post on the relevant issues, like nepotism, 300,000 dollar land gifts, mass staff departures, Jaguars, million dollar 6 bed 4.5 bath homes, door-to-door evangelism being dead, schools to reach the city for Christ, and fundraisers for Jewish hospitals where abortions are performed.

Lisa said...

Matt,

Maybe some of us have concern for being labeled exactly what you did in your e-mail. Let me ask you, do you really think that Matt Brunson would sit down and talk with me, one voice? Let me answer that for you, no. Better yet, I would be brought up before the soon to be disciplinary committee. And after that, if I still disagree, I’m sure my letter and I would be asked to move elsewhere. FBC Jax has become a monarchy. All hail King Mac and his royal court. Other church members had better wake up and stop blindly following a man who is completely the opposite of what FBC Jax was founded on. Homer who? What’s next, destruction of the Hobson Auditorium for the Mac Brunson First Academy? It is a pity that I feel like I cannot sign my name out of retaliation from Mac and members like you.