At the FBC Jax Pastors Conference there will be many seminary students from the Baptist seminaries in attendance. Perhaps some of them will take advantage of their visit and instead of seeking out the autographs of the "heavies" like teenagers at a rock concert, will instead seek them out to ask them some very important questions. The Paige Pattersons, Jerry Vines, and Mac Brunsons of the Southern Baptist Convention are the ones that these future pastors and staff members now in seminary are looking up to as examples...and the events of the past year demand that these seminary students get answers to important questions.
I hope that some of the seminary students here will be courageous enough to ask some of the following questions...below are some questions that can be asked of Paige Patterson...tomorrow will be a list of questions to be asked of Mac Brunson when he gives you a tour of his oppulent office suite on the ground floor of our children's building, that was renovated before he ever showed up at the church to know if spending that money for a huge pastor's suite was a wise use of the space and money.
Questions for Paige Patterson
1. Why Dr. Patterson did you claim last February at one of your chapel services that Mac Brunson was being attacked by "recalcitrants" at his church ever since he arrived in Jacksonville, and that Mac "never had a honeymoon?" (click here to listen to the audio of Dr. Patternson's remarks). Were you aware when you uttered these words that church members had heaped on Mac riches and perks from day one? Were you aware that Mac bought a $300,000 piece of land from one of our donors for $100 and "love and affection" only two weeks here in Jacksonville? Were you aware that Mac stayed rent free at a multi-million dollar condo for a year while waiting to build his million dollar home on the free $300,000 land given to him by one of the church donors? Doesn't that make you feel silly for standing up and telling your seminary students that he has been "attacked" by his congregation?
2. Since you decided to paint those at FBC Jacksonville as "recalcitrants" who dared asked questions about Mac Brunson's actions, you must have looked into the facts and decided that everything at Jax was on the up and up before you would ask your students to pray for poor 'ole Mac being attacked by his congregation. Therefore we assume that you agree with Mac's actions and that any questions asked of the "recalcitrants" were baseless, and you would recommend your students to follow in Mac's footsteps when they enter the pastorship. Thus, do you encourage your seminary students to do as Mac, and recommend that they accept large gifts from donors of the church? If there is nothing wrong with Mac accepting the gift of land, is there ANY gift, of any kind or size, that would NOT be acceptable for a pastor to accept? If you were going to tell your students that Mac was being attacked by recalcitrants, why not tell them what the "attacks" were about? Why not tell them that Mac was being criticized for his land deal, for the nepotism of having wife and son on staff with no formal ministerial responsibilities?
3. Mac Brunson wants a school at FBC Jacksonville very badly. One of the reasons he is telling his church that they need to start a school, is that they can't reach their city without one. In fact, Mac said that door to door evangelism doesn't work anymore because "no one is ever at home anymore"(click here for this gem) . Since Mac is a graduate of SWBTS, is this what you teach now to your seminary students? Do churches need to start Christian schools for the very rich people in their community (with tuitions of $7000 and higher) in order to win their city for Christ? Since Mac is one of your "preacher boys" maybe you could tell us if you agree with him on this matter. When we graduate from SWBTS and take our first pastorate, should we be teaching our churches that the way to reach our community is with a Christian school because door-to-door evangelism doesn't work?
4. On the Gilyard matter: when Gilyard was at Criswell College and was first accused by the late Rev. E.K. Bailey of Concord church in Dallas of seducing 25 women at his church, did you do a complete investigation at that time? You must have because Criswell students who were there during this time report that you riled them up to support Darrell and oppose Bailey, so you must have done enough of an investigation to not believe Bailey's accusations. Was Gilyard to be believed over Rev. E.K. Bailey? Wouldn't it be interesting to hear from some Criswell students at the time who today feel that you betrayed them back in your Criswell College days by fooling them into supporting Gilyard against the allegations of Rev. E.K. Bailey? Hmmm...maybe we will hear from some of them very soon.
Coming tomorrow: Questions for Mac Brunson.