"...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, March 17, 2008

Angry and Condescending Mac

Listen to these two clips to see examples of how Mac treats his congregation.

Click here to listen how Mac blessed out his congregation when he only got a response from 50 men to his request to pray about being a prayer parter with him. He asked for 120 men, and got 50. Maybe people were still praying. Maybe God only moved in 50 men's hearts. Maybe Mac needed to gently remind his men to keep praying. Maybe God only wants 50 men instead of Mac's number of 120. But Mac chooses instead to not only bless us out because God's number was 50 instead of 120, but then he has the unmitigated gall to assume that he knows what Homer Lindsay would say about the matter, and complains that 6 years after Homer's death he can't find 50 men to pray with him. I know what Homer would say: "Mac, only two years you've been here and YOU'VE ticked so many people off that you can't find 50 men willing to pray with you?" Mac, I knew Homer Lindsay. Homer Lindsay was a pastor of mine. Sir, you're no Homer Lindsay - and you do NOT know what Homer would say in fact if he came back he might have a whole lot of questions for YOU and not for us as you presume.

Here Mac tells us that "his job is to preach the Word" whether we like it or not...that its not "his business" if we don't like him, the part in his hair, the car he drives, or if we're upset over his accepting of a $300,000 land gift (OK he didn't really say that last one, but he should have!). And he says our job is to "listen". He preaches the Word, then we are to "listen" according to Mac and if we don't "listen" then that is between us and God. Maybe Mac left off one step in his process....he preaches, then we drink the Kool Aid, THEN we listen and obey. I mean really, enough is enough. Yes, he is to preach the Word, with conviction and with love and concern. Our job is NOT to just listen. CHURCH DO YOU HEAR WHAT MAC WANTS? Our pastors NEVER EVER told us just to "listen" (and I assume he means we are to listen and obey)...our pastors taught us to always measure a preacher's words by THE Word, not to just merely listen and follow like blind sheep. You say that's what he meant? Well he should have said it, because young Christians in attendance that hear a preacher say what he said will get the wrong idea that their job is to just listen and obey the pastor and it IS NOT. Notice also how Mac condescendling emphasizes it at the end as he points to the Bible. You can't get any more condescending than that. He might as well have said "There it is, its in the Bible, if you had Bibles and knew how to read them you illiterate morons."

Lastly, if you missed the Wed 3/12 business meeting where God "unleashed the financial resources of our church", click here and you can hear it for yourself. Notice how Mac faked out the "Nays" at the end.

Is this how SWBTS teaches its pastoral students to treat their congregations?

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I were to consider a man to be my pastor I would look for
the following fruit of the Spirit as a beginning yardstick:

Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, faith

5:23Meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.

5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lust.

5:25 If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit.

5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Anonymous said...

I find your blog to be an interesting read. My only thought for you at this time, and I hope you'll allow it to be posted since I see this is moderated, is this...

Since you've been at First Baptist Jacksonville for some time, you should know how the congregation has been conditioned to vote at a business meeting. Never in 20 years of attendance did I ever see a vote from the pulpit where it was not handled the exact same way it was on your audio clip. I recall hundreds of times when Dr. Lindsay or Dr. Vines would say, "is there a second, all in favor ... and that sounds like all of us." Never - ever - was there discussion from the pulpit.

Right or wrong - that's the way it's always been there. You surely can't expect something different from the congregation who are voting the way they always have are you?

And for the record, I am not a member of First Jacksonville - nor do I even live in the state of Florida anymore. Just a bystander.

Anonymous said...

Just as information, Dr Lindsay died 8 years ago last month not 6 years. And we sure do miss him.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 10:35

Of course I realize that this is how business meetings are conducted...we did it all the time when we were voting to approve the minutes or voting to affirm recommending someone going to seminary, or voting on messengers to the SBC.

But when you bring a seriou issue to the church, about you know there is likely to be some concern, and it involves moving 1/2 million in church funds to a new enterprise whose board of trustees we don't even know yet, you might...JUST MIGHT want to do it on the up and up. That's all I'm saying.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 10:33

Mac is confused, because he thinks we've grown soft as a congregation and can't stomach "tough" sermons. He's hinted at it before that we can't take the tough preaching...he's so wrong. Its just we're not used to being beat up by the pastor over non sin issues. I can't tell you how many times Vines and Lindsay preached on sin and even just practical issues like how to treat one's spouse, or how to be loving....that they didn't take the role of the Holy Spirit and beat us up. They put the truth out there and let the HS do the convicting. Mac is so harsh and unloving that it turns people off to his message.

But what his congregation is gettin weary of is his constant brow beating...believe me these two clips are just a small snippet of what we get most weeks.

Anonymous said...

FBC Jax Watchdog:
"But when you bring a seriou issue to the church, about you know there is likely to be some concern, and it involves moving 1/2 million in church funds to a new enterprise whose board of trustees we don't even know yet, you might...JUST MIGHT want to do it on the up and up. That's all I'm saying."

Me:
Point well taken. I do understand your concern, but find it so odd that there are those who have been there for years and now that there is a pastor on board who is not part of a 20+ year legacy, the same congregation feels like they have such a loud voice. There was NEVER a voice. We trusted that the pastor heard from the Lord and we supported him - whether we liked it or not - lighthouse on the parking garage - hello! I can only imagine what this blog might say were Dr. Lindsay around today making the call to spend church money to put up a lighthouse in downtown Jax. It seems that its so easy for some to forget about the past and overlook just about anything back then but not have an ounce of trust today that the same God is in control and still moves in the heart of those called to be pastors even today!

I listen to audio clips of Dr. Brunson preaching and quite honestly, if anything, he preaches a lot like Dr. Lindsay, Jr. I hear you say brow beating but wow, the sermons I could play you today where Dr. Lindsay could certainly be accused of the same thing and more by your standards.

I just hope you are not joining the ranks of some across the country who have started blogs against their churches and pastors in opposition to anything they do. This website is one of many, many websites - predominantly found in our larger SBC churches. I pray this is not a sign of the health of our convention, but can't help but think otherwise. It's no wonder we're losing so many of the generation to follow. What kind of example are we setting? Is this appealing to them? I would say a resounding NO! They seek the Lord and a relationship with him - not all of the political garbage strewn through these blogs & websites.

Again, I am not accusing you of this to the degree of other blogs, as I have seen balance through some of your posts. I would just suggest you set aside all of the "kool-aid" type comments and focus on facts. Surely Dr. Brunson's actions do not warrant a comparison to Jim Jones.

Thanks for allowing me to post a reply. Lord Bless.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 12:36 - thank you for a well thought-out post and the spirit in which you write it.

I do understand your points, and what you say is worthy of consideration.

I'm going to try to summarize succinctly what you are saying:

Perhaps this blog represents people who are holding the current pastor to a different standard than the previous pastor - that this pastor is in many ways similar to the previous pastors except he doesn't come from the 20 year legacy. His preaching is similar to Homer Lindsay, he is God's man, and just as we trusted Homer Lindsay to be God's man we should do the same with Brunson. We didn't overly analyze or criticize the previous pastor's decisions, so why would we do it now? And you say that this blog may just be part of a trend of blogs rising up to critize mega pastors.

At first blush, those seem like reasonable arguments.

But they just don't wash for many reasons. Here's a few. I apologize for the length:

- because we as a church went along with some questionable decisions under Lindsay/Vines (I'll add another: giving large sums for a Russian church under the unqualified leadership of a man who squandered it and had infidelity issues) does not at all mean we should do the same with this new man. We followed Lindsay and Vines NOT primarily because we thought we were obeying God in trusting them as God's man, but because, get this: THEY HAD PROVEN THEMSELVES TO US OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME TO BE TRUSTWORTHY AND TO BE LOOKING OUT FOR THE CHURCH AND ITS OVERALL MINISTRY AND NOT FOR THEMSELVES. Mac Brunson has proven thus far just the opposite: that every move he makes should be questioned. The more we see of Mac, the less we have grown to trust him. His unannounced absences from the pulpit his first year, his declaring that he was "finishing his book manuscript" as a reason he couldn't preach on several occaisions, the congregation finding out that he accepted the $300k land gift and to this day nary an explanation...his hiring of wife and son on staff with no stated job or ministry responsibilities, the "Time to Stand For Israel" at the request of influential deacons, his putting his son-in-law in to preach on Sunday night unannounced when the young man was hardly ready for such a responsibility, the bylaw changes, etc. have caused many to question his leadership and motives. Sorry, that's the way it is. I would challenge you to cite in their 20+ years with this church similar examples of actions made by Vines and Lindsay - and Mac made these in his first 2 years.

- I think by saying that people in the church are now demanding a voice when we never had one mischaracterizes the current state of the congregation, as Mac has done many times to others outside of our church. Oh yes, there are bloggers and emailers, but we are a VAST minority. The VAST majority of people have never emailed him, have never blogged about him, and most probably have never even read a blog. Yet in his sermons its apparent that he feels we are not following his leadership, that we are stiffnecked. But that is so wrong! The people ARE staying at the church DESPITE his poor leadership. Many, many people are concerned over his arrogance and wonder about his leadership, but they keep their mouths shut and keep on serving the Lord in the church. Giving might be down, but that's a normal response when people feel there is little accountability - they decided to give their money elsewhere in God's work.

- Sorry, Dr. Lindsay and Dr. Vines did not brow beat us, they did not put us down in sermons, they didn't talk down to us like we were morons as Brunson does most every Sunday. I know some of it is "style" differences, but much of it I believe is his genuine view of us. Those who sat under the ministry of Vines and Lindsay will say that yes they were tough, but not mean and not put-down artists, and not showmen trying to showcase their oratory skills. They were brutally tough on sin, but in a loving way. There was something about how they dealt with us week after week that made us know they loved us, even when the sermons were tough. Those who sat under Vines and Lindsay know what I'm saying. Brunson has been hurtful pretty much since day one. His whining about us "living in the past" and even "worshipping the past" and "worshipping previous pastors" is so hurtful, and many other things chronicled on this blog.

- about perhaps this blog being just one of a trend of mega church bashing blogs: just what blogs are you talking about? Sure, there is an explosion of blogs, but which ones in the SBC out there that are set up by members of the church to provide an outlet for expressing concerns over the pastor? I do know of a few but in each instance I maintain the blogs sprang up in response to specific bone-headed moves made by the pastor or a lack of sharing important information with the congregation. Does Johhny Hunt have one? How about Ed Young, Sr? I mean which ones are you talking about that have you so concerned? This blog gets over 400 visits and 800 page views per day and has a vast readership - that is because the information shared here resonates with people. Mac is stiff-necked...he himself has said that he views this blog and others as "a bunch of women in a beauty shop gossipping" and never reads them. Fine. But this blog exists because of HIS own actions and lack of openness and transparency.

- you worry that this blog might contribute to losing the next generation. I don't think so...what I worry about are the next generation of pastors that come along to replace the giants that we have had. If the church is going to be getting more Brunsons and Gaines, we are in sad shape. What concerns me is these CEO-mentality pastors that come into a mega church, demand the same loyal followship as their predecessor, accept huge salaries, accept huge gifts, build huge houses, put family members on staff, bless out the congregation from day 1 if they don't demonstrate the same followship as they did for the previous man who was here for 20 years...THAT my friend is what concerns me about the future of SBC mega churches.

About the Kool-Aid comment...I stand by it. As you know those words have come to mean "blind followship"....when a man in effect says "listen to what I say because it comes from God, and if you don't listen and obey me then you are disobeying God"....the best way to describe that is he wants us to "drink the Kool Aid"....

Again, thanks for your well reasoned comments, and I look forward to hearing from you again.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog: Thank you again. Everytime I read your comments it so expresses whats on my heart. I really appreciate this blog as it "so far" seems to be the only sign of demanding accountability from anyone at FBC. I can't believe the people still go and give. Amen, to all you said.

FBC Watchdog said...

I wonder what Jerry Vines thinks when he sees his former congregation, the congregation that he said was the most loving, giving, obedient congregation in the world, treated like this by his successor. Is it possible that only 2 years after Vines left we have morphed into a congregation that is stuck in the past, unwilling to pray for the pastor, that we don't listen and obey, that doesn't read the word, that doesn't follow the preacher through the Bible and we need to just fool him by flipping pages in the hymnal etc. etc.? Or is perhaps the problem with Mac and not with us?

Anonymous said...

Nothing is wrong with those who disagree with Mac. Nothing at all. What we have on our side is the clear ability to see things for what they are and what we are seeing is neither God honoring, believer edifying or soul reaching.

Mac is the problem, pure and simple. Nothing else and no one else.

Does that clear up anyones confusion?

Anonymous said...

I'm not concerned as to what Jerry Vines might think, seeing as he is no longer here. What bothers me is that our congregation heard those "best in the world" complements every week. I'm glad that our God does not honor those who simply want to hear, "You are the most giving, obedient, loving congregation in the world" comments. Fact is, God's people were rebuked.

Get over it.
And quit with the slander of our pastor. It's called sin.

A Brother

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon "Brother" at 10:23

Did you even read my post yesterday? Vines and Lindsay let us have it plenty of times, but they did over sin and morality...not over vague descriptions of "living in the past" or "I only got 50 men instead of 120 men". Those who sat under Lindsay and Vines know exactly what I'm talking about.

Slander? I don't think so.

Shining light on the man's words and actions and attitudes - yes.

Anonymous said...

Shining light is about truth. You distort what you see through your lense of dissention.

You take events and some facts, filter them through your lense and post it for the world to see as if it is truth.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:38

Pretty clever.

I respond:

We mock what we do not understand.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you publish my post...you know, the one where I tell everyone how you've been visited by church members and you Bible Fellowship teacher, yet you continue in this lie from the pits of Hell. Have as much guts to hear opposing views as you do spewing out your venom, you gutless wonder.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I did.

You posted it in the previous thread.

Take a look and at my response.

Why are you so angry?

Anonymous said...

anon 5:26 - I am I missing something. What is so wrong about being visited a Sunday School teacher? And aren't you doing the same thing? Anonymously accusing the Watchdog of being, and doing, something without any proof?

And why would it matter who he is? Specifically, why would it matter to YOU?

And speaking of gutless, I don't see your name on your post...

Anonymous said...

Hey Watchdog - be sure to publish the apology from anon March 19, 5:26 p.m. - If he is truly a Christian, he will apologize to you for his false accusations made against you. He will also post his name, since he seems to think posting here without your actual name is gutless and slanderous.

Anonymous said...

FBCJW - Praise the Lord for you and this site. You are helping keep us informed. Some of us don't care about what you post, others of us do. Either way, it is good to have you.

Now, I have never been visited by any church members or my Sunday School teacher, but if I was, and they actually tried to ask me about whether I read and posted to blogs, I would throw them out of my house! My guess is everyone else that reads blogs and likes to comment on them would agree. That is so hippocritical anyway. If a member is blogging about things the leadership agrees with it is okay? But if they disagree they are going to have members and teachers pay a visit to a member? Sounds pretty ridiculous to me.

Readers - if you have been visited by anyone for visiting this blog, please let us know.

Anonymous said...

My my - what a misuse of scripture on that Ezekiel clip. He is equating Ezekial delivering the word of God directly to the people under divine revelation, to Mac standing in the pulpit and preaching a sermon. He equates their responsibility to obey the divine word of God through Ezekiel to Christians listening and obeying their pastor.

The application of the Ezekiel verses to the Christian is that we are obligated to obey the word of God, not the word of man or even the word of a preacher. If you listen carefully it appears Mac is saying you have to listen and obey his preaching like the Jews had to listen and obey the Lord's words given through Ezekiel.

Am I wrong in this?

Paul Z said...

I am going to try to say this and not post a dissertation to do this. But I think both sides could and should be addressed.

First, to what Mac Brunson said about in 6 years he couldn't get 100 men to pray with him about whatever it was. Either he wasn't specific, or I didn't care to remember what it was in that clip. I actually hate it when people say things like that. Obviously he meant 8 and said 6 by accident so that's not all that important. But it isn't like Lindsay or Vines for that matter asked for members to get together and pray like that probably in several years. For all anyone knows, THEY couldn't have gotten that many had they asked. You can only compare apples to apples, not apples to "what might have been" apples. Furthermore, he did sound slightly angry and shouldn't have done so. However, I will tell you what Brunson COULD HAVE said to make his point a whole lot better. Something to the effect of in 1969 or whatever year, The Lindsays had men pray with them and they got "x" number of men out to pray, and now in 2007 not only did I not get 120 like I asked, I only got 50. And then say, for a church that believes in discipling the saints, winning the lost, and bringing Jacksonville to Christ, I could only get 50 men to show up. FBC Jax, that tells me something is wrong and has been for several years now. He could have addressed it that way, and to me, his point would have been made a whole lot better had he done so and wouldn't have sounded like he was whining about it.

Now, about the latest round of blogs that have been repeating Vines and Lindsay would never talk to us like this, they loved us, etc. Well, to be honest...maybe THAT is part of the problem. Maybe they should have addressed some of these issues and never did. Maybe it's something you as the congregation need to hear. For years, there was never anything negative that I remember spoken about the congregation by either one. But especially in the latter years after they recombined the morning service, you could really see in a lot of ways that to use a phrase, Rome was burning around the pastor with more and more empty seats, and he wasn't doing or saying anything to address it or to do things that would attract anyone else. It continued to be the same thing, same way, nothing changed. They might call it a different name, but ultimately it was the same thing.

In my brief time I returned, I heard how several deacons were opposed to newer songs being sung and were afraid the church was going to go contemporary. Nevermind the fact that in a large church such as that one, a SECOND, more contemporary service would probably help bring more people in. Remember people, it's not the style or the music that matters, it's the message that does.

The small group idea that worked in Dallas where he came from and works in many other churches at least from the bulletin looks to have died.

I am in no way saying Mac Brunson has made the right move in every way. Several things he has done are questionable, but the reaction to some of the things that have happened have been equally as such. I feel like in many ways Lindsay and Vines had such a hold over the church and it was in many ways right and wrong sheltered from other ideas, opinions, and environments that now since they are both gone, someone else comes along and many don't want to embrace change. I for one was fearful of this day coming when Dr. Lindsay announced his retirement and I knew changes could be coming but the culture of FBC possibly would be at odds with it one day.

I am not bashing the congregation or anything, just my thoughts of what I see and have seen.

And to the anonymous person 5:26 who has attacked the blog and the blogger, that's a mighty fine, loving Christian attitude you have there. It is that Christian attitude I see all over this city, the kind that hates every other race but your own, every other nationality but your own, everyone who disagrees with your opinions, yet sits in churches all over Jacksonville on Sundays and Wednesdays claiming how much Jesus loves you...and it's why I will never attend another church in this city as long as I live.

Sorry this is so long again...I didn't want it to be.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Paul - about his whining about 50 men to pray...I believe I posted it elsewhere, but once again here's the context:

He asked shortly after the holidays ("ironically" exactly 1 week after his successor asked the same thing at FBC Dallas), that he wanted 120 men to come to him and tell him they would be his prayer partner and pray for the services whenever church was being held. He asked people to give it prayerful consideration, said specifically do NOT come rushing up after the service to tell him yes, but to PRAY ABOUT IT. He asked us to pray to almighty God about it.

Then 2 months later, BAM. He yells at his congregation because unbeknownst to us only 50 men responded. I'm not really concerned over the anger part of it, that's standard Brunson fare. What is very telling about Mac in this situation is the LACK OF FAITH he himself demonstrates in making such a condemming statement to his church. He asked us to PRAY. There could be any number of reasons that he only got 50. Maybe God's timing isn't Mac's timing. Maybe God wanted only 45 men not Mac's number of 120. Maybe he needed to gently remind us to keep praying about it. Maybe, just maybe it slipped our minds. But to ask us to pray about it, and then when he doesn not get the results that MAC wants, he blesses us out. On top of that he invokes the memory of our late pastor, and presumes to know that HE TOO would yell at us if he came back from the dead. That my friend, is, well...sad.

My main point to you:

I wholeheartedly reject your assertion that Vines and Lindsay left things "undone" or that "Rome was burning" around them. Just the opposite my friend, just the opposite. What Vines and Lindsay did was precisely get the church READY for new leadership. They left a congregation that loves the Word, loves lost people, loves Jesus, loves each other, loves TRUTH, loves expository preaching, loves their pastor and knows how to follow the leadership of their pastor. They left behind a people who love their church. They left a church with ZERO debt, a new children's building, a huge auditorium big enough to handle a quadrupling of the church membership, full parking facilities, and even space for some growth downtown. He left us with the premier music men in Brooks and Dickison. He left a well-seasoned staff who the people loved and trusted. We have an underutilized property in Hilliard that might be worth several million if we can sell it to help us do other innovative ministry. Vines quietly left town after his retirement to not cast a shadow over the new man. Mrs. Lindsay from what we can tell has been very gracious unlike stories of other "first ladies" of mega churches after the death of their husbands. My gosh, Vines even made sure that the TV ministry was in good shape for the next generation of TV broadcasts by ASKING US TO PAY CASH FOR HDTV EQUIPMENT. Do you get the picture Paul? There wasn't much more Vines and Lindsay could have done to ensure the success of the next pastor who they knew would be the next generation and would do some very innovative ministries!! Vines knew and we knew he was not the man to start satellites, or start a contemporary service...he knew that God's next man would be the one to do it. Vines did have a vision for satellite ministry that he shared with his men on several occasions, but he knew that he was too close to retirement to start it, so he left the church in INCREDIBLE shape for the next man to hit the ground running with fresh ideas and a strong church to implement them.

But instead of hitting the ground running, Mac came in here and took for himself. He lived in Amelia Island for a year rent free in a multi-million dollar condo. He took 2 months to get here after we voted for him as pastor, so we paid him for 2 months before sermon #1, and paid handsomely big time preachers to come in for 2 months to tell us how great Mac was going to be. He accepted a $300,000 piece of land as a gift from a church donor two weeks after coming and immediately began construction of a million dollar mansion. He put his wife and son on paid staff, and we still to this day can't identify specific ministry areas they are responsible for. Then he liked to complain about emails, especially the anonymous type. He then started complaining about us living in the past, and worshipping previous pastors. He started not showing up to preach unannounced, putting in men to preach Sunday nights that we didn't know who they were - one was his son in law who was not ready for such a huge task. Why he even told us on several occasions he was too busy meeting publisher deadlines for book manuscripts to preach! He then capped off his first year with the infamous standing ovation and hug of Jerry Vines at the pastors confere when Vines said that at times "you don't pay me enough to be your preacher, brother." about a man who questioned the pastor's salary.

Note that there is nothing above related to color of carpeting, contemporary music, the part of his hair, the car he drives.

So Jerry Vines and our late pastor Homer Lindsay - thank you, thank you, thank you, for leaving the church in the financial and spiritual shape you did for your successor. Mac's failures in leadership have nothing to do with you. We even know Dr. Vines that you had the wisdom to seek out the next man to serve beside you for a smoother transition, but that didn't work out. You tried.

Maybe I should contrast the condition of FBC Jax after Lindsay/Vines with the condition that Mac left FBC Dallas in when he left? We won't go there, that's for another blog, but FBC Dallas has said plenty on this in past blogs.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog, I believe you made the case; I say we take a vote on Mac leaving. Is there a second ( I second) "All in favor of Mac leaving say aye".....I guess thats most us...the aye's have it.

Anonymous said...

Great points, Mr. Dog. Nothing about color of the carpet, or being afraid of change, or what car he drives, or even how much his salary is. Nothing slanderous or sinful either, just facts, facts, facts. Keep on saying it, bro.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to say money started being an issue under Dr. Vines. The budget was being cut due to a decrease in pledges and giving. Dr. Vines also put Hillard up for sale. It was taken off the market when it was decided to bring in Dr. Brunson as the new pastor.

Anonymous said...

WD, I see that Mac has already removed that sermon from 3/9 where he socked it to us for only 50 men prayin with him. I guess that one he wasn't too proud of. Glad you grabbed the clip and put it here for all to hear.

Anonymous said...

Truthfully, the FBC started falling apart spiritually, financially, etc after Dr Lindsay died. I'm surprised its still up and running. I feel sorry for the "legitimate" members still there that actually come to church hoping to be spiritually fed. My question to them is are you starving yet? The people that blog in hate rhetoric about the watchdog and fellow bloggers are the same dissallusioned people that run things now. I have been there long enough to know what I'm seeing. The good news is Mac only stays in his "callings"(?) seven years. North Carolina, Dallas, etc. Take heart we have two years over with....Just hold on only five years left.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog did you know that Mac & Debbie have a membership at the River Club? I saw it on the River Club bulletin welcoming them several months ago.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 12:17 - care to explain in what way, or provide examples of, how the church started declining after Lindsay died? I don't share that view, but would like to know your thoughts on that.

Anon 12:20 - sorry, don't know what the River Club is...what is that?

Anonymous said...

Watchdog: Sunday school enrollment, Sunday school visitation, number of people getting saved, tithing declined, attendance to services, music took a new turn,Training Union attendace declined. But maybe your
memory is better than mine.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog: The River Club is one of Jacksonvilles oldest and grandest dinner clubs like....The University Club, the Ponte Vedra Golf & Country Club, San Jose Country Club. Members have paid membership. Sometimes business's sponsor some of their Executive employees while others have their own membership. It is a private dinner country club atmosphere for the elite who can afford it.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - can't argue with you there. But I don't equate any of those with "spiritual decline" or "financial decline". Within a few years after Homer's death Vines knew that he was on his last years of ministry, that's why he did begin to try to find his successor to join him to ensure a smooth transition.

Even though numbers were declining, Vines knew that he was leaving behind a core group of believers that were all the things I said in my post to Paul Z above...and a church with mostly superior facilities and in strong economic health (i.e. no debt). No doubt that we need to refurb and maintain the aging facilities, and doing something with the RLA has been needed for over 10 years since it is drastically underutilized and not practical for the needs we have now.

But that's my point, Mac inherited a church in mostly excellent spiritual and financial health, poised to follow their new pastor into a new era. But Mac spent his first year looking out for number 1 and setting himself and his family financially, and his congregation wised up in the first year that he was not as advertised. He didn't even put forth a vision for our future until after a year he was here, and the highlight of his vision was a school and building renovations. Unless he turns things around and starts leading in love and truth and honesty and humbleness, he is squandering any chance he has to lead this church into a bright future.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Really? Weren't we told Mac ate Krispy Kremes and drove a pick up truck? I sure hope FBC Jax isn't paying for his membership there!

Maybe we could take up a special offering to pay for Mac's membership...I mean those people need the gospel too, and Mac could be a missionary to the River Club elite!

Anonymous said...

Jerry was a member of the river club as well. Its not that big of a deal. The membership fee isn't that high and I believe that they give clergy a discount. There is a big difference between a $30k membership to PV and 1K to the river club.

Anonymous said...

I don't really care if Jerry was a member or not. He never did anything to cause us to draw any wrong conclusions for his membership. And by the way, how many years was he here before he joined. Did he run out and join, as a priority, as soon as he got here? That matters to me.

And what Homer Lindsay, Jr and sweet Miss Shirley - were they ever members! Of course not. But Mac won't invoke Homer unless he can exploit his memory for his own agenda. PATHETIC!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Lindsey didn't go out to eat anywhere that served alcohol. So we all know that he wasn't a member. Mac has been here for a couple years now, its not like he received the membership when Collins gave him the land or when Howard White built him his house. He received a membership to Deerwood with those. I wonder if he would pick up a round of golf for me?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

For what reason did Collins give Mac Brunson the land? Can anyone speak to the timing of the gift? Was it told to Mac before he accepted the pastorship? If he did know about the land and the free condo stay for 1 year prior to accepting the job, did the members of the search committee know that a piece of land was dangled in front of the man they thought should be our pastor? Surely someone must know.