The questions many had coming into today's sermon were: will Mac come in and preach a loving, Bible based message, one that challenges pastors to reach higher and higher in their ministry, one that is a bit tough but mixed with enough love and compassion to steer people and pastors to Jesus? Or would he use this as an opportunity to vindicate himself from charges made in the blogosphere, even once again striking out at others as the reasons for his difficulties?
Well, unfortunately, it was the latter.
Not too much sheep beating today, but lots of shepard beating.
Just some random thoughts:
- at one point Mac was overstating the importance that pastors have on their congregations, that pastors need to not be angry, humble, must be holy...because the people they pastor need an example. Yes, I agree, its great for pastors to model the Christ life by being humble, Godly, walking with Jesus...but when he says: "If we won't be the examples for our people, WHO WILL?" Evereyone present likely had the same answer to the rhetorical question: "Maybe Jesus?"
- Mac really got on the pastors, and said that the reason people in our convention are tearing into Pastors (insert: "Mac Brunson") on blogs is because the pastors themselves are tearing into each other on the Internet, and because the lay people are so easily led astray we are doing the same. I thought Paige Patterson said the "recalcitrants" were the result of the devil trying to bring down "the man of God"...now Mac is saying the recalcitrants giving him and Paige a hard time is because we're following the pastors who themselves are blogging - who Mac said are "angry", "bitter", and "jealous", and a few other adjectives. I think the blogs are a symptom of the arrogance of people like Paige Patterson and Mac Brunson. But Mac can't look at himself as having caused his troubles, he has to look to outside factors and blame others.
- What was the name of God that Mac was preaching about today? I must have missed that part of the sermon.
- Then Mac had the absolute brazen cahoonas to say something like, "No wonder our people aren't trusting God with their tithes, when they see pastors negotiating salaries like CEO's or NBA superstars!" Now who on earth is he talking about? Are there many or any pastors in attendance in the crowd of 9000 that have negotiated NBA money from their churches? In fact, Mac Brunson likely is THE highest paid of any pastor present in the entire building this morning...he likely lives in the largest and most expensive house of ANY of the pastors present...likely is the only one who has wife and son on staff without having their staff positions posted...likely is the only one who was given and accepted a $300,000 piece of property upon coming on staff...likely is the only one who has lived in an ocean-front, 3000 square foot, multi-million dollar condo for one year rent free....and he has the unmitigated gall to mention "CEO and NBA salaries" as a major problem in our convention? I thought the problem, as Jerry Vines said last year was that there are too many preachers who have to beg for a $500 salary increase? Pastors, if hearing Mac Brunson utter those words doesn't show you what he is all about, then nothing will. OK, so he says he didn't know what they were going to pay him when he said "yes" to FBC Jax...but did his wife know the salary? Did he know about the land gift? Did he know that they would put his wife and son on staff right away?
- By the way...why wait until TODAY in front of thousands of pastors to make that claim that he didn't know his salary at FBC Jax until he said yes to our search committee? Mac, you've had bloggers and emailers on your case for over a year about the salary, land and huge house, and he could have lovingly explained that to his congregation, telling them how much he loves and appreciates the generosity of his church in so abundantly meeting the needs of he and his family, and that he trusted God to care for his needs and never attempted to negotiate his salary. No, he doesn't want to say that to his congregation, he wants to brag to his fellow pastors - none of which really care or will be blessed by that because NONE of them can relate to the extravagance of Mac's salary and lifestyle! If you stand today to tell the pastors that, why didn't you tell us that a year ago?
Well pastors, you got just a glimpse of what we have gotten for pretty much two years now...Mac Brunson lashing out at his listeners blaming them for the ills in the church. Most of us know the difference between being "lovingly corrected and chastised" by a pastor's sermon, and being beaten up by a pastor who is mad as hell.
Only this time it was the shepards and not the sheep who had to bear the brunt of Mac's tongue lashings.