"...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

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Its Enough To Make One Feel Sorry for Mac

Tonight I actually felt sorry for Mac. He showed tonight that he is unable to differentiate between: a) valid concern, even well-meaning opposition from those in his congregation over his leadership, personal actions, and decision making methods at our church, from b) opposition that a preacher might receive from anti-Christian forces for preaching truth. Big difference. Perhaps when a preacher like Mac faces some opposition or even criticism in the church it just might be God moving in His people to get the pastor's attention, maybe to keep him from doing something he shouldn't.

Tonight using Philipians 1: 27-29, toward the end of sermon, Mac called those who might be concerned over the start up of a school or his plans for satellites, easily "spooked" like a horse. Then using verses 28 and 29 where Paul speaks of those who oppose the Phillipian Christians as a sign they will be saved by God and are thus in the will of God, and that the opposers will be destroyed, Mac indirectly compared himself to Jerry Vines who was attacked for his "Mohammed was a demon-possed pedophile" remark at the SBC some years ago. He then made reference to Paige Patterson who is being attached and "crucified" because he takes strong biblical stands. I'm not sure what kind of similar "opposition" that Mac faces that he is referring to, but it must be that which is internal to his church because he spoke about how so many in the church are scared to start a school, and their "hair stands on end" when we consider satellites, and he mentioned those pesky emails again. Sometimes its hard to follow Mac, but he certainly led his listeners to believe that versus 28 and 29 apply to his ministry and the opposition he has faced of late over things like holding unannounced votes to take $500k for a school, the $300k land gift he accepted, etc...none of these things has anything remotely to do with strong stands he has taken, but rather poor judgement exhibited by Mac himself.

So to follow Mac's logic, he is facing stiff opposition in his plans because he is a strong preacher like Vines and takes strong stands like Patterson, but to Mac the opposition he faces (which is all internal to his church) is a sign to him that he IS in the will of God. And if he believes that verses 28 and 29 apply to our church now in the opposition being raised against Mac (how bad can it be anyways, he did get the obligatory "envelope" and pastor's wife flowers for his aniversary, with TWO standing ovations for the excellent job his first two years), then that means Mac views opposition to his plans as coming from those who are opposed to God.

That is dangerous stuff - to make the claim that the opposition he is facing over the direction he is taking the church and questionable actions he has taken - is tantamount to opposition that Paul warned the Philipians of from anti-Christians - well, its just scary.

Unless you've drunk the Kool-Aid already, then I suppose it all makes perfect sense.

Would you like that in Grape or Cherry?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Okay, okay I am confused, by the Watchdog. I do not understand why, if you are unhappy you stay at FBCJAX? Are there not other churches in the area to which you could attend. Herb Reavis is a wonderful preacher at North Jacksonville BC! Or do you live in another area of JAX?

I am not a member of FBC nor do I live in Florida, but I am an admirer of your church and have attended the PC back to the days of Dr. Lindsay. And just because I am a pastor, myself, does not mean that I am immune to the idea that pastors can make unwise decisions (although, be sure that I am not saying that, since I am only getting your side of the situation(s)).

But I do not know why if you are so unhappy with "Team Brunson" why you keep getting up and going on Sunday mornings, nights and Wednesdays if you have a problem with the leadership. If I went to a restaurant and got what I thought was sorry service and poor food I sure would not go back there again! I'd find another place to go and eat. Just "food" for thought!

Oh and I'll take grape kool-aid while I sit under the dryer waiting for my hair to get done!

Anonymous said...

Can somebody pass me a comb? I sat in both sermons today and they both were right on. WD, how can you twist something so pure into your own personal garbage? Me me me, I'm the watchdog...I have power! I can use the internet and twist every word my pastor says and people will respect me. Well, I don't. During the morning service I heard things that I knew you would not agree with and all I could think of was you...not God. You stole my attention from God. You caused me to stumble. What does the Bible say you are to do? Something about a milestone? I know you will down play the significance of this and beat the same ol' horses you alway beat but I take my time with God very seriously.....and you stole it. And continuously twist the words of our Godly pastor. Good luck with your future....your gonna need it. It seems the more I read your verbal garbage the more I see it is you that can't handle the heat of opposition. Are you "stating opinions" or demanding "answers to questions"? Make up your mind? Either way your wrong. Look at the Fruit of the Spirit and tell us, what your doing here, which fruit does this fall under? love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Pick one, and try your best to justify. Consider it practice for the time you stand before God and explain your actions to Him. And again, I say, good luck....your gonna need it.

Anonymous said...

Before we can think of satellite churches and a school,we need to hire a high school minister of music, which by the way, it's going into two years since the Patricks left, and a high school director , which it will be a year this fall since Calvin Carr left.Some parents are still there because of the youth programs, but if they keep on cutting on these programs, there won't be a reason to stay at FBC.I am very sad to find our youth program in the shape it is, just after two short years since team Brunson took over. How very sad since Dr.Lindsey and Dr. Vines had poured so much into these programs and had built them up for so many years to be the best in our city;not anymore.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:45..You are absolutely correct.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:45... my sentiments exactly!

Anonymous said...

Enough of the history already. I know that he is a history buff and that historical context can really add to a sermon, but this is another of Mac's abuses. Because he is a history buff, he incorporates an unhealthy level of history that does not add to the understanding of the scripture, and in some cases serves to confuse people who are trying to listen who don't understand the geography references. But no matter - its all about Mac - HE'S interested in history, so he's going to ram it down our throats. Last night was just typical...he went through a 30 minute history lesson that added SOME to his text of Philipians 1, but he could have stated the historical context in about 1 minute when he took closer to 30 minutes. You people used to love the bible and love bible preachers, but now you love to have your ears tickled by a performer on the stage (and not a very good one at that).

Anonymous said...

WD I think you might be giving yourself a little too much credit. I think you must think that Dr. Brunson is thinking about you everytime he steps into the pulpit. I assure you that you, who say you love your pastor (and at the same time are twisting the knife in his back saying how disappointed you are and questioning his integrity, motives, lifestyle, abilities, agendas, finances, morals...yadda yadda) are not in the middle of his sermon preparations.

Do your fingers get tired of typing the same stuff about the land deal and trips and bad sermons or do you have everything worded and saved so you can just cut and paste it into your blog.

I heard not one mention of the school or satellite churches last evening....I did hear a sermon on unity and striving together to accomplish great things for our Lord. Funny how people can hear the same sermon and come away with a totally differing perspective. You can come open to what the Lord has to say praying the Holy Spirit will move in your life and convict and humble you anew or you can come with an attitude of self servitude wondering how you can read into a sermon what you want to hear or even expect to hear to give you your next blog topic.

Dr. Brunson studies diligently and stands in front of us prayed up and studied up. I believe his agenda in the pulpit is to see us grow in our relationships with the Lord and to show the lost the way and give them opportunity to respond.

We need to be a people of unity striving to the same end. Churches may reach that end by going different directions and using different methods...THAT'S OKAY.

Christ called for us all to DENY OURSELVES and take up our cross DAILY and follow HIM--He asked his disciples to follow him blindly, to leave their families, to not bury their own...but to leave and follow HIM and His cause. So maybe they drank the KOOLAID... that's a drink I hope I can testify too when I stand before HIM. Even if I don't understand His ways (His ways are not my ways) or think I could do it better or make better decisions. Point is I am called to follow Christ no matter what and I have chosen my earthly shepherd and flock to associate with.
I hesitate to post this because you tend to shoot back with sarcasm and cutting remarks.

Anonymous said...

9:31 You are so so so correct. For those that love these history lessons watch the Naked Archeologist on the History Channel. He actually knows history and doesn't make mistakes!

Anonymous said...

Concerning the history....Didn't the chairman of the deacons refer to Mac's sermons Sunday morning as "awesome history lessons"?

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous of 9:31...

My opinion is this church (?) is over......You did it to yourselves, you and your BAD...MAD...history teacher. Why do I seldom hear a salvation message preached to the lost?

It seems most people want to spend their money on entertainment showing little spiritual discernment.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes he did mention about how we are skeptical about satellite churches and starting a school in our city at the Sunday night service.All I can say is that I do not think is the right timing.Once we have taken care of our own (high school ministry)and our budget is where it needs to be, then maybe we can think of other projects.Our previous pastors put so much more emphasis on our youth and children's programs ,and I feel the current pastor has other priorities.This is hurting our youth and their families.

Anonymous said...

I was confused yesterday about this trip to the middle east that Doc Brunson kept mentioning. It sounded like people from our church went? Who was this trip for?Was it a missions trip, or like a fun trip/cruise/tour led by Doc Brunson?

Anonymous said...

This is almost funny....now people are complaining that he uses real life (history) as a means to launch into a sermon! Wow, what else can we pick on? Where he gets his hair cut? (I'm so glad he called this hair salon gossip!)

If my memory serves me well, Jesus made references to events that happened before His life. But, whatever.

It's so clear that the dog is just looking for a fight.

It's good to see how even here, many support our pastor. We love him. And you know, WD, I for one don't have a bone to pick with you. I feel bad about your twisted logic knowing full well you think you are right. We all see your thinking....was given a gift/hired talented son/wants a school/supports friends like Paige Patterson=bad man. Your thinking is clear as a bell.
But so is mine. His gift was given by one of the largest developers in Jacksonville. A person who has purchased hundreds of pieces of land gave from his abundance. This is no crime, as a matter of fact, I think it is tremendous that we have such a generous man in our congregation. Trey has led more local mission initiatives than you know. He impacts our youth to grow, lead and reach out to our comminity. The school will take the vacant rooms of our church and put them to good use. We will have Godly teachers influencing the next generation. Our pastor's support of other pastors is an open display of loyalty in a day where people more often have their daggers ready to stab a friend in the back.

One thing this blog has done for me. It has made me think long and hard about why I love FBC and my pastor. My love for Jesus Christ keeps me from getting mad at those who stab at my church, my church's leaders, my pastor and his family. I pray that you, WD, would move past this phase of your life. Yeah, you might get mad at me and raise "questions" you don't want answers to. You might take your shots, but frankly, it just doesn't matter any more.

I'm gonna keep on loving every member of my church and that includes you. Hopefully, one day we will actually know who you are! It's nice being a family member in a church you know!

Anonymous said...

Hey watchdog, check out page A-6 of the Times Union. You'll see an article about how so many of the members of the mayor's crime task force committee are blowing off the meetings. Mac is one of the offenders, making only 2 of the 7 meetings. What a terrible testimony that Mac can't do better than that. But there were quite a few task force members who have made ZERO meetings, so at least Mac made it to two of them!

Anonymous said...

Voice of Reason said:

anon 4/7 at 2:25 p.m. - I like your reasoning. You seem to have actually thought about some of this and have made up your mind to support the pastor and love the WD, whomever he or she happens to be. That is refreshing and a good attitude to have.

I just don't think it (the discussions here and this blog) are as big of a deal as you do. When a pastor does what this pastor does, without explanation and without openness and accountability, he deserves and invites some (or even one) to question and comment. So what? Give me a $307K gift of land, and let me hire my wife and kids, and let me change by-laws to give me more authority and I am fine with you or anyone else questioning it. I won't get all upset that someone had the nerve to question my large gift or the gall to ask about the by-law procedures. That is natural and expected. Mac obviously doesn't care so why do you care so much? Now, on the other hand, IF (and that is a huge IF) I was planning to lead out on some plans that required sacrificial giving by others, I would loving explain this personal gift to everyone to make sure it was not a stumbling block to those that I am trying to lead and trying to get funds from. And I would make it a point to be as open and transparent as possible. Wouldn't you?

Mac has not done so. Intentionally and arrogantly, he refuses to deal with these matters of concern that are apparently are effecting him and his family, as you say.

So continue to post here and help us understand. And leave some identifying anon mark so we know its you. (Ex: Anon - grape kool-aid; or beauty shop visitor, etc.)