"...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

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Words Mean Things

The last week has been quite instructive for the members of First Baptist Church - at least for those who have been concerned over the poor leadership and abuses of Mac Brunson at our church.

We heard Mac say the following to a group of pastors in North Carolina: "....down in Jacksonville I'm in a hotbed of legalism. Everybody's got a list of rules, but they seem to have no real relationship with Jesus Christ."

Of course one might think that Mac was referring to "Jacksonville" in the broad geographic sense, as in "this area of the country"...but our blogging friends who speak to the pastor and other staff members helped clarify that Mac was not talking about "Jacksonville", but really "First Baptist Church Jacksonville". In fact if you listen to the quote in context, its clear that prior to the "hotbed" quote he was talking about the church in general, then turned his comments to the church "down in Jacksonville" in particular.

Said one of Mac's supporters in the previous thread:

"The problem Watchdog has is simple. Fact is FBC has been legalistic for years. So, when our pastor calls this sin out, he takes it personally. Makes complete sense. Then he turns the gun on our pastor and calls it slander.....Fact is he [Mac] has been fighting this trend from the beginning. WD has had his eyes closed to this until now."

So now we know...Mac has an agenda to "fix" this legalism that is rampant at our church - and the key is: HE'S BEEN FIGHTING THIS FROM THE BEGINNING. As I said in the previous thread, this helps give us context now to look back at what has happened to our church over the past two years. If the man came here to eradicate the "legalism", no wonder the staff changes - no wonder the abusive preaching from the pulpit. Perhaps, even the small group of lay leaders who courted Mac to come here, lavished him with gifts and perks because - well - he was coming here to save our church from the dreaded legalism we were in! Those of us who know something of what legalism is, and what its like to be in a legalistic church, know full well that our church is not legalistic, or even that we are trending in that direction. That is not to say we don't have our own set of problems, but legalism happens to not be one of them. If anything, the standards we used to have that some claimed were legalism have become more lax in just about every area of church life - including rules on nepotism and accepting large gifts from donors of the church.

So perhaps Mac can clarify when he has a chance to return to the pulpit what makes us legalistic. Let's help him out a bit and parse his statement and ask some pertinent questions:

1. "...down in Jacksonville, I'm in a hotbed of legalism"....ok, that is interesting. Mac doesn't just say we are legalistic, but that actually we are a "hotbed" of legalism (notice he is the subject of the sentence - "I'm in a hotbed" - why its all about Mac, isn't it?) Being the learned and well-read man that he is, I'm sure Mac used that word exactly as he meant it: a "hotbed" is a spawning ground, a place where rapid growth occurs. So Mac is saying our church is so legalistic that it is a place where legalism is growing and expanding, perhaps festering. Quite interesting. I'm sure that assessment of our church will really help attract people downtown that we're trying to reach - And don't those pastors want to come down to a conference at the "2009 Hotbed of Legalism Pastor's Conference". And this will certainly help attract quality staff members to our church to replace Calvin Carr and Lainge Patrick - I mean who doesn't want to go serve in a "hotbed of legalism". And of course parents all over town will be beating our doors down to enroll their kids in this "hotbed of legalism". But that will be for a future post: "Send your kids to First Baptist Academy: the Hotbed of Legalism in Jacksonville". Maybe our mascot can be the FBA "Fightin' Recalcitrant Legalists".

2. "...everbody's got their list of rules..." Can you tell us who is "everybody" Mac? And what kind of list? Is it like Ghost's list yesterday of your abuses that troubles you? Just what rules? Are they the rules that say: when the pastor comes we'll give him a $300k piece of land? That rule didn't seem to bother you much. Is it the rule that we have that says the pastor has the reigns and calls the shots - allowing him to hire family members? Is it the rule that allows you to make changes to our bylaws without making a genuine effort to communicate those to us? Those are fighting words, Mac, to tell a group of pastors that "everybody" at your church as a list of legalistic rules. I don't know about the rest of the people at my church, but I'm going to stand up for my church in the face of your slander - and I'll do it in this blog as my forum despite the nasty attacks bloggers get from your defenders.

3. "...but they seem to have no close personal relationship with Jesus Christ". Just who are these people you're referring to? Are these the majority of your congregation? Besides, wo are you to judge us individually, and why would you pass judgement on us corporately in front of pastors in North Carolina? What is your criteria that you're using to ascertain their close personal relationship with Christ? Is it you and your spiritual elites perhaps are able to assess whether we have close personal relationship to the Lord? Perhaps you're referring to those "recalcitrants" who are turning up the heat on you because of your abuses? You already once said that those who don't agree with your changes are "comfortable in their sin and compromise" - now that quote seems to make more sense since you believe us to be a hotbed of legalism.

Well, its good to know that some in the church leadership reads this blog multiple times every day. We hope that Mac will be briefed on the bag of excrement he has stepped in this time....and we hope that more members of our church become aware of the words of their pastor....sowing discord? No, I call it spreading the truth.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Words do have meaning! And as has been pointed out in previous posts, you do not attend the services at church. Am I and everyone else to come to the conclusion that you are just going to whine and moan and complain about all of your problems at the church (the land gift, the new offices, the "abuse by pastor") but leave all the dirty work to us? That's cowardly. I couldn't care less if you give us your identity on this site or not. But if you really do perceive a problem at the church and it is more than you not getting your way, roll up your sleaves and help correct it. Don't sit over in your office or wherever you are and continue whining. Get out of your tower and help right the ship (since you perceive that it is up-side down).

Apparently Jacksonville needs more than a watchdog, we need a savior. Funny, I thought Jesus did that already!

By the way, since you continue to harp on the land gift, the big house, the big offices and all, (which I myself don't fully agree with, but have gotten over it) I am going to continue to remind in future posts that you are sitting at home in a seat of judgment but never attending a church, that you say you love. But, instead all you do is to complain, never attempting to make things right.

Anonymous said...

Of course words mean things. And Dr. Brunson, being the wordsmith that he is, knows exactly what he's saying.

I think he's a showman. I think he enjoys saying things that he thinks are going to get a laugh. As you say, WD, it's all about Dr. Brunson. So when he says things he not only understands the full meaning, he enjoys the response that puts him in the limelight.

I think he said what he did to those preachers in NC so that he would be put in the limelight as poor Mac Brunson who has to put up with an unbelievably large congregation with unbelievable problems! And yet, despite all the horrific obstacles, da da da da! Here comes Mac Brunson to save the day! I can do it! I can do what no FBC pastor before me could do! I will rid FBC JAX of its LEGALISM!

(After all, didn't I get Jim Whitmire to come here when neither Dr. Lindsay nor Dr. Vines could do it!!!)

Anonymous said...

I don't know if Watchdog attends or not. Since I don't know who he is. But he has the picture exactly as it is at FBC. Don't try to focus on Watchdog when Mac is the problem. Watchdog would not have this blog up (for which I am grateful) if there was not a problem.

As to getting over the abuses, land gift, big house, big offices, big cars, etc., this is exactly what Team B is hoping for. Just hang on and ride it out and sooner or later they will forget about all of these abuses and shut up. WRONG. And as long as we show up and pay they will stay. One thing Mac hasn't complained about is the money coming from us Legalistic people that have no relationship with Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Did I miss something? Did WD say he no longer attends FBC. I do recall him saying he wasn't in attendance at a particular service. On a different note, I don't ever remember wondering where Dr. Vines was when he was away. Communication is a wonderful thing...maybe legalistic folks like us just don't deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Attn: 2:02 Whether or not you are correct regarding Jim Whitmire , it makes since that he would not leave a long time church until after Dr Rogers passed.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - but to Mac and his supporters, the bloggers ARE the problem - in fact this fits into their view that the problem is legalism. To them, this blog represents the old school, people who don't want anything to change at the church.

And as I've said over and over and over again: myself, and I would say 95% of the church members were fully behind Brunson when he came. We knew a new man, with new vision, would mean big changes at the church. KJV to NASB? I didn't care - I promptly went out and bought a new NASB. More use of praise music and imags and less hymnal - fine, I didn't care. I was ready for a new day under Mac, as much as I loved Vines and Lindsay I knew we needed a new leader.

But slowly, over time, the man eroded the trust that we had. I won't go through the whole diatribe again, but as I've chronicled here many times it was his ABUSES - not his doctrine - not his hairstyle - not his car - not the color of the carpet. It was his actions, one after the other (see Ghosts list from yesterday).

But in Mac's world, this blog represents legalism and hatred - it represents people who were against him from day 1 - it represents people "with lists" and who have "no real relationship with Jesus Christ" who are against him and therefore against God.

His days will be severely numbered at Jax unless he really comes to grips with what he has done to turn his congregation off. There are SOOO many families there right now just for the kids, and when it gets bad enough they will bolt because there are so many options around town to worship.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I'm still at the church...somebody saw me snidely say to Paul Z about how I am one of the empty red seats. I haven't left FBC Jax. Its my church and I'm not leaving. They will have to get the discipline committee involved and attempt to vote me out, and then they'll have to get an injunction to keep me off the premises. I'm not leaving, nor are most of the bloggers here that love the church, love the people at the church - the ministries, the programs. To use the Dr. Allen phrase - we're waiting for the cloud to move. Right now the pillar of cloud has stalled, and our church is in trouble. But the cloud will move again, some day.

Anonymous said...

FBC was a great church with a good reputation before this man got here. Everytime someone came to our church they always talked about FBC's reputation being so good among the other churches. What changed? Most of the same members are here. I quite frankly, resent this man coming here with his sour attitude spreading trouble in this church with his own agenda. We didn't have trouble until he got here.Let there be no question he is the one that is legalistic and abusive. It's "follow Mac or else". Thats legalism for you.

Anonymous said...

Re: 2:02. Showman...

You're correct. There is no business like show business.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - yes, we are getting to be the laughing stock among other churches. They know of the lavish living of Mac, the land gift, the wife 3-day a week work week earning huge dollars, and his abusive demeaning history lessons/sermons...and people are shocked that the people in FBC Jax are clueless of the things that the other churches know about.

Let me tell you something (I'm starting to sound like Mac)...the one thing we have to fear is mass exodus. Steve Gaines up in Bellevue (who also by the way viewed himself as having to go to Bellevue to "fix" it - they weren't a praying church, they were too stiff, didn't know how to worship, etc.) and his antics ended up driving over 1/2 of the church away so its a shell of its former self - even Mrs Rogers has fled the church. They have a huge stockpile of money that is keeping them going, but not so at FBC Jax. If people start leaving and/or giving in significant numbers, Mac will feel the heat big time.

Anonymous said...

to anon. April 17, 2008 2:14 PM:

You said: "Attn: 2:02 Whether or not you are correct regarding Jim Whitmire , it makes since that he would not leave a long time church until after Dr Rogers passed."

What I said was meant to be silly. I was quoting Dr. Brunson -he's the one who said he got Dr. Whitmire to come when both Dr. Lindsay and Dr. Vines had tried but failed to get JW previously.

Anonymous said...

Instead of coming to town with humility, love and a genuine desire to shepherd this church he came in with a plan to dominate and control. He gathered a group around him to help him do exactly that. He has less Bible knowledge than our previous pastors. He knows history and is very proud of his education in the Greek. As far as I can see when I think of Dr Brunson I think of someone riding roughshod over his people and by so doing alienates them. I think it would be helpful to him to realize that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God and not him.

Anonymous said...

Even the President of the United States has news conferences, where he answers tough questions even impertinent ones. He is graceful enough and MAN enough to know that his job requires accountability to people that he is leading and that are trusting him. If you really want perspective; I believe Mac and his family and maybe Mac alone make more money than the President of the United States. The presidents so far have enough sense not to put their family on the payroll!!

Isn't it ironic that a leader in the secular world, such as the President has more accountability to his people and the world than one little ole baptist preacher.

P.S. I say "maybe" above, because we don't know Mac's salary. Nor his wife or Trey's.

Anonymous said...

Question?

Just who were these men that told Dr Brunson that he had to clean house? Did they have the authority from God or were they taking upon themselves that they were the authority and would back him up on every decision he made? This sounds like a real problem, particularly when Mac doesn't have a clue who we are individually or as he said Sunday "I don't know what you're going through". And it doesn't appear he cares.

Doug Pigg, Lewis Howard, Bob Barton, Rodney Brooks, Calvin Carr are better off NOT being here as it would stifle their Godly ministries. I would not work for or with Mac and company five minutes.

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing Mac is not a military commander, as his whole army would have hit one land mine after another. So much for his leadership.

Anonymous said...

I just heard on the radio, Dr Lindsay preaching saying how glorious witnessing was, including "going to the homes" to witness. He led many people to the Lord, some I knew personally, by going to their homes. This was a true man of God. I guess that debunks the "nobody is home" theory.

Leaders at FBC please don't let anyone stop Dr Lindsay's radio sermons from being broadcast. It's the only preaching coming out of FBC currently. If you want to hear real preaching tune in radio 88.7 FM at 4:30 to 5:00 daily. I am not living in the past, it's just that the past is all we have currently.

Anonymous said...

FBC JAX - you got the leader you deserved. Your sins are now finding you out. Enjoy God's judgment on you during these Team Brunson years. I just pray that they won't last too much longer. Someone had to oversee the demise of this once great congregation. Who better to fleece it and leave it wrung out than Team B.
At least FBC Dallas got through it and God finally brought in his man to lead them. I, too, am waiting for the cloud to move.

Anonymous said...

I get SICK of these.

I am a young person. I have recently been within the middle school and high school ministries of our church. I want to let you know that our church was legalistic. In fact, I myself, not even yet an adult, saw it.

The definition of legalism according to Merriam Webster Dictionary is: "strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code". Yes, we might not be legalistic in the sense of the orthodox traditions as some demoninations practice; however, we were legalistic in the sense that many times we missed the ultimate purpose.

There was good in all our programs, no doubt. However, the checklist for a trip was legalistic. Until some circumstances occurred and Pastor Brunson came in and things began to change, my Quiet time and Saturday witnessing was a way for me to go on Spring Tour, Ski trip, Summer Tour or a mission trip. Now, they are for my personal growth as a child of God. My perspective began to change as new leaders were introduced into our church. I welcome the new leadership God has placed in our church. Rev. Carr left a great legacy that is now temporary being filled by Rev. Smyrl.

After Pastor Brunson came, I saw relief. I understand some of the rules and regulations that were placed on staff members under Dr. Vines; however, I also know that we are in rapidly changing times and sometimes you have to allow things in order to engage the culture (such as staff and sunday school leaders being able to view movies nowadays). I never learned under Rev. Carr as I did when the atmosphere of the church began changing when Pastor Brunson brought a new fire that spread throughout the congregation.

Anonymous said...

For the record - I happen to know - for a FACT - that the "hotbed of legalism" Mac is referring to - are the "Independent, Fundamental, SBC-hating, KJV only" Baptists that have been strong in Jacksonville for years. I heard him say so this week. He is NOT referring to FBC JAX.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I know you mean well, but don't believe Pastor Brunson that our church was or is legalistic. Your example is not one of legalism. The practice of having "reward trips" was not meant as a means to add to the gospel, it was not ever presented as a way to add a burden to people that they had to adhere to gain favor with God. It was a set of requirements to go on a reward trip. That's all. That is not legalism. The system used for reward trips can certainly be criticized for its downsides: for instance those kids who couldn't meet the requirements because of sporting events, or divorce in the family and custody arrangements causing the child to miss every other Sunday; or even the danger of it teaching kids that the Christian disciplines should be done to earn things instead of just out of love and obedience for God. So there are some valid criticims of the reward trip concept. But I'm told that kids were not excluded for this, that the directors in HS and MS worked with kids who genuinely wanted to participate but through no fault of their own couldn't meet some of the requirements. The purpose of the reward trips was to encourage our young people to start the very good habits of daily bible study, taking notes in church, logging one's prayers, etc. I for one can say my kids benefited from this, as they grew up these practices have become part of their lives.

Your statement:

Until some circumstances occurred and Pastor Brunson came in and things began to change, my Quiet time and Saturday witnessing was a way for me to go on Spring Tour, Ski trip, Summer Tour or a mission trip. Now, they are for my personal growth as a child of God. My perspective began to change as new leaders were introduced into our church.

I'm glad that of late you are experiencing spiritual growth and you view Quiet Time, witnessing, etc. in the right perspective. But this doesn't invalidate the very good motives of our church leaders who did offer "reward trips", and your experience doesn't mean that they were in any way legalistic.

I hope you can see what I'm saying, and I do appreciate the spirit of your post.

Even if you believe that the reward trips were legalistic, surely you must see that our church is not now, and NEVER HAS BEEN a "hotbed of legalism", and that Pastor Brunson is not only wrong in his assessment, but he is even more wrong in saying it to other pastors.

In defending our church from the charges of "hotbed of legalism" levied by our pastor, I'm in no way saying FBC Jax has no problems - we have plenty of areas needing change and improvement. My blog was never claiming that we shouldn't change...it was and continues to be about the abuses of Mac Brunson that have severely hampered his ability to lead our church to where it needs to go.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 10:30 pm. Nice try.

If you really did hear him say that, well, at this point I would say I don't believe him. Sounds like an Obama after-the-fact explanation to get himself out of hot water after saying extremely insulting about people he is supposed to want to lead and love.

Go back and listen to the context of his statement. Prior to his hotbed statement he lamented how mad and furious Christians are...right after he said the "hotbed" quote, he immediately KNEW he stepped in it...and he said "you come up here and say that...Honey, I preach it down there too." So he acknowledged immediately after uttering the hotbed statement that people might be taken aback by him saying that about his church, and he wanted them to know in effect "I'm not talking about my church behind their back, because I preach it down there too." Why would he say "I preach it down there too" if he is talking about the geographical area of Jacksonville, as that would not be controversial or in need of clarification. If he meant to refer to the other fundamental KJV churches in our area he likely would have stated such to make doubly sure no one thought he was attacking his own congregation.

Also, given that his supporters were quick to jump in here and say that Mac was right, we ARE and HAVE BEEN legalistic, leads me to conclude that Mac was talking about his church. But just as Obama's elitist remarks about people in PA have revealed his true views, so does this Mac Brunson statement give us a glimpse into what he thinks about us, and its absolutely disturbing.

But if Mac explains it to his church and he apologizes for the remark and apologizes for his failure to make it completely clear that he was referring to OTHER churches in Jax and NOT FBC Jax, then maybe I might believe him. That won't happen though. He could never bring himself to apologize to us legalistic rule-making bumpkins - his ego is too big. But nonetheless he owes his congregation an explanation and apology...unless he really meant it in which case his silence on this matter will speak volumes.

Anonymous said...

Anon who says Mac Brunson was talking about fundamental KJV churches. Really? Which churches is he talking about? Mac said he IS CURRENTLY in a hotbed of legalism, and said 'everybody' has a list. How is Jacksonville, now, currently a hotbed of legalism - and does he really mean that everyone currently has a list, and that hardly everyone in this terrible city has a close personal relationship with Christ? There are some fundamental KJV-only, churches here, but they are not 'strong' nor prominent. We know Mac Brunson all too well - how he likes to make himself out to be a victim. When he says 'I'm in a hotbed' he likely means his own personal experience, which is at First Jax church. I do agree with WD however, let Mac explain himself.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I just can't see the "new fire" (mentioned above)that Dr. Brunson brought to FBC as a good thing. It's true that fire can sometimes be used in a good way. But we're seeing too much being burned down in the path of the fire that Team B set.

When you come crashing in to your new church and with no warning you just destroy everything in your path within the first few months of your arrival you are not likely to get a good reaction from people. Nor should you expect a good reaction.

It's extremely poor leadership indeed when you're destroying more than you're building up.

Dr. Brunson needs to do some repair work after all the destruction he's caused and it can come only from him in the pulpit.

I agree with those who have said he probably has too much pride to do it.

Robert L. Peeples said...

Young Anon 10:13pm,

Well put. I agree with you exactly.
Email me Anon at the following:

peeples.robert@gmail.com

Anon, 10:30pm,

Thank you for this insight. What is so humorous to me however is Watchdog's response to this whole issue. We now know what Pastor Brunson said and meant but Watchdog refuses to believe it. Doesn't suprise me at all quite honestly.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Robert - your previous pastors taught you to be much more discerning than you are showing to be. An anonymous poster posts here saying that he KNOWS what Dr. Brunson meant, and you gobble it up and say "We now know what Pastor Brunson said and meant"...I will tell you that you don't know. If, that is a big if...if Mac Brunson meant "That city of Jacksonville has been a hotbed of legalism with all of those fundamental, independent, KJV-only churches and that is the city I preach in."....if that is what you believe he meant, then you at least have to admit he exhibited very poor judgement to say what he said, leaving it open to interpretation that he might be referring to FBC Jacksonville and his current plight with all the heat he's catching of late. I mean really Robert...why would Mac make that statement "down in Jacksonville I'm in a hotbed" if he's referring to OTHER churches. After all, he's preaching to preachers in North Carolina where fundamental KJV-only churches are as prominent as they are or were here in Jax. You're much smarter than this Robert.

Robert L. Peeples said...

Watchdog,

I don't think he exhibited poor judgement by saying what he said.

Yes, anything a person says is open to interpretation. But a person's attitude has a lot to do with how they will interpret something. In other words, a biast perspective or mindset affects the outcome of one's own judgement. Maybe this explains the 3 blog entrys you have posted within the last week and a half regarding the comments of pastor Brunson.

Since Pastor Brunson was speaking to pastors, it could be that he was referring to other pastors of other churches he in Jacksonville.

I mean really Robert...why would Mac make that statement "down in Jacksonville I'm in a hotbed" if he's referring to OTHER churches. After all, he's preaching to preachers in North Carolina where fundamental KJV-only churches are as prominent as they are or were here in Jax.

Exactly Watchdog. He is speaking to PASTORS OF CHURCHES IN NORTH CAROLINA, talking about other PASTORS AND CHURCHES IN JACKSONVILLE.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Robert - words mean things. Attitudes are attitudes. Words mean things. "Down in Jacksonville, I'm in a hotbed of legalism" means either:

1. My church is legalistic and I've had to deal with this since I got there.

or

2. That city down there is a hotbed of legalism, and its causing me a great deal of problems.

He follows that up by then presuming to know about how the people he is speaking about in this "hotbed" (speaking in the present) have "lists" and "seem to not have a close personal relationship with Christ".

Whichever one he meant, BOTH of those interpretations is false. Jacksonville FBC is not, and the city of Jacksonville is not a "hotbed of legalism", and I would submit he wouldn't know anyways about the city having lived on Amelia Island for one year, and then living in Deercreek in a million dollar house the 2nd year.

But keep on defending the indefensible Robert. Its quite amusing.

As I said, the only way for him to clear it up is to address it himself. But I'm not holding my breath waiting for that.

Robert L. Peeples said...

Watchdog,

I don't think he owes the congregation an explanation of anything.

Whichever one he meant, BOTH of those interpretations is false. Jacksonville FBC is not, and the city of Jacksonville is not a "hotbed of legalism",.....Watchdog, I graduated from a legalistic, church affiliated high school here in town and you mean to tell me there aren't some churches in town that aren't legalistic?


Isn't DeerWood the name of the community he lives in? Maybe I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:13, I'm glad you are happy with the changes. It has been incredible watching some of the new changes at church. The Refuge services are worship centered and it is good to see that the "habit" of reading the Bible is being replaced with a love for seeking God.

Jesus fought legalistic religous leaders. The gospel is the antithesis of legalism. Where FBC has struggled has been in sancification.

Watchdog took my words and interpreted them indirectly. My wife says I've hit the big time now that WD is using my words in an original post. I was not suprised that he used them to target Pastor Brunson. He did not arrive on the scene for the sake of saving us from legalism. I never said that. I said that he has been fighting it since the beginning. He arrived "on the scene" because God brought him here and you and I voted for him.

But anyways. The fact remains that many parents, staff and children knew we were becoming legalistic. WD has avoided my comments about staff members saying it was. I know of several meetings (I'm not on staff nor have I ever been) where this topic was discussed.

But the dog won't concede the point. He would, again, have to admit that he was wrong.

Please, dog, just take me at my word unless you want to meet in person.

WD, I've noticed that every time you call Robert immature that you make snide remarks towards him. If you are claiming to be an elder in this church, just remember, you're supposed to be an example.

Well, it's been fun. Gotta go!

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is going to make any difference what we say here. The level of immaturity of Mac's defenders is astounding. Their lack of Bible knowledge is even more astounding.

NO ONE CARES! As Jeremiah said the people would have it so.

Anonymous said...

This situation may take care of itself. With gas and the cost of living rising so rapidly, it won't be long until no one can afford to drive down to hear Mac much less pay for him. Not to be pessimistic, but it is conceivable that churches may close if it gets bad enough (some already have). If I have a choice of whether to feed my family or Mac's family guess who wins?

Anonymous said...

Let me tell you something (I'm starting to sound like Mac)...the one thing we have to fear is mass exodus. Steve Gaines up in Bellevue (who also by the way viewed himself as having to go to Bellevue to "fix" it - they weren't a praying church, they were too stiff, didn't know how to worship, etc.) and his antics ended up driving over 1/2 of the church away so its a shell of its former self - even Mrs Rogers has fled the church. They have a huge stockpile of money that is keeping them going,

Really? 1/2 the people left? Stockpile of money that is keeping them going? You really should stick to things that you know about. Quite an embellishment on your part, now I know why your credibility is suspect.

Ghost said...

I personally do not believe FBC Jacksonville is a legalistic church, and I certainly don't think we are a "hotbed of legalism" as our 'loving' pastor put it. However, I feel that by arguing about whether we are or are not legalistic, we are missing a big part of the point. If Mac thinks we are legalistic, he should get up in OUR pulpit, and tell US that we are legalistic, and WHY he thinks that. He should cite specific examples and so forth. He SHOULD NOT be talking about us behind our back in a pulpit in another state on an issue that he has never once brought up from our pulpit. I love how after he put his foot in his mouth he told them that he preaches this down here too...well I personally have never heard it. I vaguely remember one sermon on legalism right after Mac came to our church but it was an overall warning against legalism. Mac has never stated to us that our church is legalistic.

And in regards to Robert's quote where he says...

"I don't think he owes the congregation an explanation of anything."

I believe that is one of the most frightening things I've heard anyone say. I do want to personally congratulate you though Robert, your brainwashing is officially complete.

Anonymous said...

An addendum to 8:44 p.m.

While the economy can become a reason for declining attendance I believe it eventually could be used as an excuse to end evening services. Possibly some selling of property (if buyers could be found in a reduced market). Or maybe property devalued in order to sell. Of course these ideas are speculative in nature, and one hopes this will not happen.

In event of above, I bet salaries of Team B will not be reduced even if services are.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Ghost - I agree completely with you on all counts.

Mac does owe an explanation to his congregation over what he said, but its a numbers game - he knows that the number of people offended by his remarks is quite small as compared to the total number in his congregation - so to give an explanation would only serve to make more people aware of what he said, so he can't possibly address it.

And he knows that many people share Robert's view that no one expects him to ever have to answer for anything.

And the wise poster yesterday who gave us this stroke of genioius: "he is accountable FOR us but not TO us", and he even had a scripture to quote.

Anonymous said...

And the wise poster yesterday who gave us this stroke of genioius: "he is accountable FOR us but not TO us", and he even had a scripture to quote.

Thank you for the complement of being wise... TIC

I guess you continue to support the hypothesis the Mac is accountable to you without the support of scripture. Those baptists who believe the bible took a stand in 1979 and stood against such personal positions and said, go to the book. Something you continue not to do on this subject.

Let me help you in trying to discover the precept of scripture concerning accountable to you...

Adam got in trouble for listening to Eve.

If Moses would have stood accountable to the people they would have remained or returned to Egypt.

Paul encouraged Timothy to follow God, not man.

Jesus did not take direction from the twelve and he did not tell them everything they wanted to know.

I'll concede you are correct if you can give me one verse, in context, that supports that Mac is accountable to you.

He is not your employee, you do not pay him, you will not answer for his faults.

Please don't try and spin this post to say I am a Mac follower and drinker of kool-aid. These words I print are in response to you, your words and the other misled thoughts being tossed around as truth.

You want answers but go much further than ask the questions. You want answers and pose your questions as Mac is already guilty. You want answers but refuse to think through the whole issue, as when others bring up a different line of thinking - all you do is attack those who disagree with you.

I'd support you looking for answers if you asked with grace and love instead of bitterness and condescension. --- Not judging your heart just your words.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I really do appreciate you wanting to hold us to scripture. But the extension of your logic just seems, so, well, "legalistic". I'm no bible scholar and I'm sure you know more of the Bible than me, but here is my response:

- to say Mac is accountable to us, in general, in no way negates his other obligations as pastor. I'm a father. I am certainly accountable FOR my family, but of course I am accountable TO them as well - unless I'm an arrogant task master and tell my kids to never question anything I say because I'm the big cheese. To not recognize I'm accountable TO the people I lead in addition to be accountable FOR their well being is lunacy.

- to say Mac Brunson is accountable to his congregation and thus owes an explanation when he says something that most certainly is at worst slander of his church, and at best is a careless, confusing statement about his church that many can be offended by, in no way has anything to do with believing scripture or not believing scripture, or the battle of inerrancy, etc. For you to even bring that up is just crazy.

- Adam got in trouble listening to Eve? What has that got to do with anything about Mac being accountable for saying offensive things about his church away from Jacksonville?

- To bring up Moses is to equate Mac with Moses sir. Mac is no Moses. God doesn't talk directly to Mac. So of course, if God is appearing directly to Mac, then by all means I'll cede this point and agree Mac doesn't owe us an explanation for what he said. If God appeared to Mac in the burning bush and told him: "Goest forth and tell thy people 'I'm in a hotbed of legalism'" then I'll cede the point to you.

- I didn't say Mac was our employee. But I won't argue this point, but I would love to.

You really are a piece of work. This argument is not over the broad philosophic question of: How Accountable is a Pastor to his Congregation, or the broad question of Pastoral Authority...its about the specific question: is Mac accountable to his church to the extent that he owes an explanation for inflammatory remarks he has made about our church to other pastors?

That's a very specific question.

The answer is Yes, he is accountable to us for his words, and would be wise to give an explanation. No specific scripture, just the general premise that a pastor is to be the shephard of his flock, to love them...and his words are anything but loving about his congregation: "they all have lists"...."they seem to have no real relationship with Jesus Christ".

If you must have a specific scripture before you can see that he needs to explain those words to those he leads, then perhaps YOU are the legalist. Love should dictate that he owes an explanation.

One more thing: you want to use Moses as an example, which doesnn't apply.

Let me use one that might apply:

If Trinity Baptist Church had some sort of inkling in their church that Bob Gray was accountable TO the congregation - that he wasn't the man who no one dared ever question - then perhaps he might not have been able to abuse as long as he did. And this is what makes Robert's words so strange that Mac owes no explanation to anyone for anything...Robert apparently went to Trinity school, and he is well aware of what that monster Bob Gray did to his congregation. No one ever dared question anything Bob Gray said or did - talk to people back then at Trinity and they'll tell you. So to argue that a pastor is accountable for and not accountable to the congregation is dangerous ground, and opens the church to abuse by a pastor.

Anonymous said...

Not sure of everyone’s theology, but I see the OT prophets in a totally different category than NT ‘overseers’ and/or ‘elders’

The OT prophets spoke ‘for’ God; there had been no Messiah, no Holy Spirit, and only the written scriptures of the law, etc (what we call OT). The book of Acts begins a new order of the body of Christ meeting together with leaders called overseers or elders.

Obviously there were not huge megachurches but the person requesting scripture references can look for him/herself into the NT and see there aren’t too many verses. However, the following is what I want in a pastor.

I Timothy 3:1-4
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money..... 4 he must have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.

The ‘pastor’ is not someone who acts without accountability; in fact, his role demands more accountability with the world watching. I guess that’s why I struggle with the lavish lifestyle – home, jaguar, etc. I understand that we are all to be wise stewards of our money and that someone else can look at my lifestyle and be offended by me; but to be honest, I’m struggling with the use of that much money on personal comfort and pleasure in the face of so much need and hurting in the world. I need a pastor that challenges me and encourages me in this area.

Anonymous said...

I find it odd that these "Mega Pastors" have determined that they need to live in such expensive lifestyles. I also question the deacon bodies for allowing and promoting it.

They should use the example of the Lord Jesus:

1 He had no earthly property.

2. He had no purse or money, a fish supplied the coin to pay the taxes.

3. He had no horse or mule, he borrowed one.

4. He had no place to dine, he borrowed the Upper Room.

5. He didn't own a tomb, he relied on the charity of another.

Let's have some "Mega Preacher" preach this message and then tell us how rough they have it.

Finally, they will never be crucified like He was. He was the Savior of the world, but His thoughts and actions were for our souls.

Anonymous said...

12:06 Well put. I also have studied this passage, and in light of it, have found our current pastor in conflict with parts of it. He is not, in my opinion, temperate, self-controlled, hospitable, gentle. He is quarrelsome, he appears to love money (lifestyle) and constant request for it. As far as a good reputation that depends: I find him angry, stubborn, and the way he handles this church is not conducive to a loving pastor. To consider himself not accountable to the members of this church is to consider himself above what he requires of us. As someone once wisely said "I would rather answer on earth than in heaven".

Sheril Chaffee Whitehouse said...

My name is Sheril Chaffee Whitehouse. I grew-up at FBC and left the church when I met my husband and we moved away. I still visit FBC while in town visiting. While trying to look-up the church's web-site I came upon this blog and began reading. I'm aware of some issues the church is facing and many others the Lord brought us through over the years. I am so sorry people have decided to air out problems with the church and/or pastor over the internet. I've always kept our problems "in the family". I don't even discuss them with fellow Christians at my new church and would certainly never consider doing so on such a public forum. If you don't like something and feel someone is acting against God's Word follow the Bible's guidelines for church discipline. Don't give people who already hate the church more ammunition by spilling everything you're disgruntled about over the net and then hide under the word anonymous or some other code name so YOU can't be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

ANON 1:15

Why would you ask anyone to follow Jesus' example if you, yourself refuse.

Will you give up all your property, money, transportation, dining place or burial plans?

I doubt it. The only person I see who thinks they have it bad are those who come on this blog and whine. Do you need some cheese to go with that strong whine you carry?

Anonymous said...

anon 11:15 - to answer your questions to me, I would say "no" I would not give any of that up. Therefore, I am not qualified to lead your mega-church and would not be a good example. Agreed?

Anonymous said...

an 11:15- cute little saying about wine and cheese. I get it. Ha ha, the word wine, if spoken, sounds just like the word whine. You say we are whining, so to be funny, you ask if we would like cheese with our whine, not wine. I get it. Cute. But if you really feel there is ANY defense of the things this pastor has done, and if you really believe he should not be held accountable for any of it, please try and make some rational point. Thanks for dropping by. Very cute, albeit very old, little joke. ha ha. Those two words sound the same though they are spelled different and have different meanings and you are claiming we are whining when voice some concerns. Boy, that was really good. You really showed us.