"...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

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mac: "Don't Accept Gifts (Except if They're Too Good to Pass Up)"

Last week I posted an article over the hypocrisy of Mac Brunson telling other pastors in his book that its not a good idea to live in "executive homes" and drive "luxury cars"....but he himself, well, built an executive home in Jacksonville and drives luxury cars. And he in fact wasted no time in quickly building his executive home when he arrived in Jacksonville in 2006, starting construction within just a few months.

Listen to what advice Mac gives pastors in his book:

"Some pastors unintentionally separate themselves from their people by living in executive houses and driving luxury cars. Billy Graham has lived in the same house and driven older cars for decades. He did not allow people to give him automobiles. He did not allow local committees to furnish luxury automobiles for him during crusades. Guard against greed. It will do you in."

Problem is, Mac is holding forth one standard for pastors and seminary students using his book in their studies at seminary, but he himself is not willing to live by the same standard.

Why do I say this? Well, let's review Mac's actions just weeks after he arrived in Jacksonville.

1. Mac accepted an offer to live rent-free in a multi-million dollar condo, ocean-front, at Fernandina Beach over an hour away from Jacksonville during 2006. If Billy Graham is a pastor's example of not accepting even gifts of the USE of a luxury automobile, would not the same standard apply to a pastor accepting the use RENT-FREE of a luxury, multi-million dollar condominium for a year in a town an hour away from his new church?

2. Mac just three weeks after arriving in Jacksonville signed a deed accepting a 1/2 acre piece of property in an exclusive, gated, private golf-club community called Deerwood - how much did Mac pay for this land? Zero. It currently is valued at $307,000. It was given for "love and affection", given to him by one of the donors of the church. I wrote about this gift in this article.

Click here to see the deed for yourself.

Mac doesn't explain exactly WHY he cautions against accepting gifts, but its obvious that he considers it a matter of a pastor holding themselves to a very high ethical standard. His opening paragraph of the chapter says:

"In the Bible, people in leadership positions were called upon to have higher ethical standards than the other people of God. The pastor should never see how close he can come to the line between what is ethical and unethical, but he should stay as far away from it as possible"

Mac acknowledges that he as pastor should not engage in any activity that would cause anyone to question his integrity; in fact he should hold himself to a higher standard than other Christians. Could we not say then he most certainly should hold himself to a higher ethical standard than a person working for a corporation? Is it unethical for a CEO to accept a large gift from a customer or vendor - OF COURSE! Would it be unethical for a the head of the Red Cross to accept a quarter of a million dollar land gift from one of its donors! OF COURSE IT IS! In the profit and non-profit business world these actions would never be tolerated in a million years so it stands to reason that a pastor, seeking to hold himself to the absolute highest of ethical standards should avoid even the appearance of impropriety and not accept these gifts. The one exception perhaps that could be made would be a pastor of very modest means who is barely earning a livable wage from a very small church, and one of the church members decides to meet a pastor's need...which we know is certainly not the case with this large gift given to Mac.

In closing, what could Mac have done when offered this gift? What would have been the "honorable" thing for Mac to do? One question that has been raised on this blog is whether or not this gift was offered to entice the Brunsons; that is did they know of the gift BEFORE they accepted the call to come, or was it sprung on them as a surprise after they arrived? Many of Mac's defenders on this blog have said the Brunson's did NOT know of the gift beforehand. But if we assume that this is the case, then surely, SURELY, our church had already agreed to meet the Brunson's relocation expenses and a hefty salary and such a gift was not necessary for them to make the transition to Jacksonville comfortably. Mac had two options: he could jump at the chance to take the gift and thereby enrich himself, or he could have told the giver of the gift something along the lines of:

"Brother, thank you for that kind gift. That certainly is generous of you and I appreciate it very much. But the truth is that our needs have been generously met by the church already as a part of our salary, benefits, and relocation package. I do suspect that our church will have some very great needs coming in the very near future as we launch new ministries. I encourage you..if you feel the Lord leading you to give this gift to me, then perhaps the Lord wants you to give this gift to the church. You giving this sacrificial gift to the church could be a great seed to cause others to look at their circumstances and perhaps lead them to give sacrificially to the church. So please brother, hold on to that gift, and at the right time perhaps as the church faces new needs such as starting a school, or starting satellite campuses, or even renovations to our campus - the Lord may use you to challenge the rest of the church to give sacrificially."

Mac could have done that. I submit that would have been the right thing. That would have been the "honorable" thing for a pastor to do - especially a very wealthy pastor who already had his needs met by his mega church.

As Mac said in his sermon on Sunday 6/1/08: "Honor is doing the right thing because its the right thing to do." and "Honor is doing the right thing in spite of our emotions". After reading Mac's book, its apparent he DID know the right thing to do, but for some reason he couldn't do it. The right thing, the honorable thing, would have been to politely refuse the gift and perhaps allow the Lord to use the gift and the giver to bless the entire congregation, and also challenge the church to also give sacrificially.

141 comments:

RM said...

To be honest, I grow very weary of reading your constant comments about Mac taking the land. Basically, its over and done with and there is nothing you can do to change it.

HOWEVER, this post actually has some teeth to it. When you can actually point out what Mac put into print and then show how he violated that principle then its worth reading.

My viewpoint is that the people of your church have been deceived into calling a man who isn't what he says he is. Not sure what you are going to do about it...

One little truth I learned--you need to CONSTANTLY PRAY for your pastor. Then:

1. If you pray for him daily he might actually become the preacher you have always wanted and then you will want to keep him.

2. If you pray for him daily then he might get so good that some other church will come and take him off your hands.

Either way--you need to pray for him.

Anonymous said...

Thank you watchdog for telling it like it is, exposing the hypocrisy. I for one really don't see how he can preach about honour like he did last week. If this gift was not used to convince him to come to our church and no one knew about it until after he arrived then your right: we paid his moving expenses and gave him a most generous salary and benefit package to take care of his needs and it stands to reason he absolutely would not have needed that gift. His accepting it has now embarrassed our church. And now it has embarrassed him now that we know in accepting the gift he went against his own advice to other pastors. That is less than honourable. The joy in him signing that deed and gathering wealth to himself that should have gone to Gods work must have been just too good and he couldn't say no. What a darn shame.

Anonymous said...

rm said...

"To be honest, I grow very weary of reading your constant comments about Mac taking the land."

Why do you keep reading it then? You live in Texas, right?

Anonymous said...

rm,

I echo Anon 1:07's sentiments, but I must admit you finally said something I agree with! The rest of your post was right on. Maybe there's hope for you yet.

Anonymous said...

I am one of the preachers who was there in February at your church to hear Dr. Brunson tell us how preachers who earn what I believe he called CEO or NBA salaries is one of the biggest problems in our convention. When I read this information, if you have your facts straight and I have no reason to doubt you, then what an absolute hypocrite he is to stand before all of us and say the things he said. I will certainly not be coming to the pastor's conference next year if you have one. I will be attending John McArthur's conference. He is a man of integrity unlike your pastor.

Anonymous said...

Attention RM: I like point 2.

Anonymous said...

This makes me so sad. I feel sad for the wonderful people of FBC Jax. Of all the churches in the world I believe this church to be one of the most loving and serving and caring and committed churches there is. For decades they loved their pastors and followed their pastors in loving Jesus, loving the Bible, and loving the lost. In return, their pastors loved them, they led them faithfully. Neither the people nor the pastors were perfect, but it can be said that they loved each other and loved Jesus and kept Jesus first always. Now to see a pastor arrive on the scene and start to take advantage of these dear sheep as soon as he arrives on the scene to gain the world's riches and to provide jobs for family just absolutely breaks my heart. They are loving and trusting sheep, and thus are ripe for being taken advantage of as apparently they are now. May God intervene.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I'm watching a sermon right now that Mac Brunson preached on honor. Does he not know that these sermons apply to him also? He used the little girl from the movie Family Man as an example of someone who sold their character for a few extra dollars. Doesn't he realize he is that man?

Anonymous said...

Your Pastor (Brunson) is some piece of work! Put one thing in print. . .live another! Pontificate advise to young pastors and seminary students that you have no intention of practicing in your own ministry! That's rich!! I agree with one of the earlier posts that you should pray for Brunson. . .pray that God will take him off your hands and give you someone like Lindsay or Vines who would have never done things like this!

Anonymous said...

For anyone who thought today's message was great, I just wanted to point out that once again he did not mention the name Jesus until "all heads were bowed" during the invitation. He did mention it twice during the invitation.

Also, he once again showed his priorities by walking out during the INVITATION!!!! Yes, he did. Yes. He gave the invitation and Smyrl stood in during the singing. I know he was leaving to go to the SBC in Indianapolis, but it is just another example of himself being the focus. I guess to catch a later flight would have inconvenienced him? How he can ever ask people not to leave during the invitation again? He can't, unless he is more arrogant and hypocritical than we think.

To me it says his "national" concerns take priority over his local church concerns. But that is nothing new.

How dare a man issue an invitation, then rush out as soon as it starts. This man has no shame.

Anonymous said...

Mac says the main thing a man wants from a woman is respect. That a man will do anything, even crazy things, to get respect. I respectfully disagree and once again think Mac is preaching to and about himself like he often does. (angry preachers, pastors negotiating NBA salaries, etc.)

Tell me, did Bill Clinton need respect from Monica Lewinsky? Do the strip clubs around town promise "respect" to those poor souls that frequent them?

Do men who are judges, doctors, lawyers, engineers, bosses and politicians...who are repeatedly shown respect all day long, really mainly just want respect. I think Bob Gray and Daryl Gilyard wanted more than respect. So did Bob Reccord, Frank Harber, Benny Hinn and the rest. These guys had more respect than they deserve, calling each other "doctor" and "reverend" and on and on. Congregations fawn over them, ask for their autographs, and call them "men of God." No Mac, every man and woman in the place know what men want. Maybe YOU wish you could get some respect in your own home like you do from the yes men and others in our convention?

As for women, yes they need LOVE, but you mopping the floor? Get serious. They need MONEY! Those strippers are there for the MONEY. Those rock stars, and athletes, and mega preachers have the wives around because of the MONEY. Get real. Take away the money, Mac, and let's see how much respect you get....especially in your own home.

And to prove what I say is true Mac, when you brought home the milk and fruits that morning...you said "believe me it pays dividends" and that elicited some nervous laughter. WHAT WERE YOUR REFERRING TO AS "DIVIDENDS?" RESPECT OR SEX?

Not mentioning Jesus and not addressing the real issues...you were 0 for 2 today.

Anonymous said...

Mac asked us to pray for Johnny Hunt who is running for SBC president. I agree Johnny Hunt would make a very good SBC President. But I am hesitant to pray for him to be successful since Hunt represents the last chance for the "king makers" of the SBC (Paige Patterson, Vines, etc.) to hand pick the men they want calling the shots, selecting trustees, who in turn SELECT THEM. (See David Allen being picked as a SBC Trustee, hiring PP as president, and then PP appointing him as dean.)

So Johnny is the last of his breed. Should be a unanimous choice. But Mac's endorsement of him scares me. Could it be Mac wants Johnny for two years, then Mac may be the next annointed one? "Mac Brunson, President of the SBC." Has a nice ring to it and will give him even more respect, which he admitted today, men will do anything for. Also will help him sell his books, travel more, and have more attendees on his Holy Land trips, cruises and evangelism and preaching conferences.

Maybe the best thing for our convention for the long term future is for a great man like Johnny Hunt NOT to be elected.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

His sermons are confusing and contradictory. Today was no different. And today he decided to publicly expose a man's sin from FBC Dallas to the congregation in Jacksonville - anyone from Dallas who listens to this sermon will know EXACTLY who this man is.

His point that men do crazy things for respect is a JOKE!! He is so clueless that its scary that this man is given a platform to speak to thousands every week!

Most men who engage in sexual affairs are not seeking respect! Many of them are instead seeking power over another woman, most of them are lost sinners, who can't control their sexual appetites and have no respect for themselves and the women they convince to have sex with them!

Men who use prostitutes aren't looking for respect. They're sick men who are looking for either power or sex or both. Was Eliot Spitzer looking for respect from some floozy?

Men who abuse women aren't looking for respect, they are monsters who like to exert their power.

Men like Gilyard and Bob Gray who prey on kids aren't looking for respect - they're looking for power and sexual satisfaction at the expense of the powerless and helpless.

His example of the man in Dallas who was very wealthy and very well known who was committing adultery (very strange he would use that as an example, giving the city and such a clear description that anyone from Dallas would know exactly who it was - isn't that a breach of pastor confidentiality to preach of a man's sin who came to you for counseling, then you expose him in a sermon??)...he in one sense was saying that this man's adultery was caused by the wife who was constantly cutting him
off in mid sentence, not showing him respect. FBC JACSKSONVILLE - YOU HAVE A PREACHER WHO CAN'T RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD - men don't commit adultery because they are looking for respect. They do it for lack of self control and because they're sinners and they need a savior.

Then Mac presumes to know that "men who create problems in the church have wives who are domineering" Wow.

People of FBC Jacksonville, if you want to see how far we've fallen in the quality of our preaching, please, please go back and listen to sermons by Lindsay and Vines. Or, on radio or TV listen to David Jeremiah. He is a man who has control over his words, he sticks to the text, uses real life examples, and exhibits humility in his preaching.

One more clue of Mac's cluelessness: he said that the reason there is so much crime today is that young men are "looking for respect". They don't have a father figure to show them respect, so they go out with guns looking for respect. So the man who breaks into my home is looking for respect? The man who shoots another man over a drug deal is looking for respect? The rapist is looking for respect? My God, this man doesn't even know what he is preaching.

You know one of the trends in some of these mega churches is that sermons are prepared by a "team", where the ministers come together and collaborate on the message and the illustrations...I used to think that strange, but my gosh could Mac ever use some help in his sermon preparation. Lord help us.

Anonymous said...

Hey, if Johnny Hunt is president, perhaps he could make a way for Mac to leave Jax and take a job as a dean or seminary president in the next few years. Maybe that could work in our favor! Johnny and Mac are great friends.

Don't worry about Mac becoming president of the convention - after his first two years at Jax he ain't got the respect that would be required. That won't EVER happen - Mac as president. He'll be lucky to get a speaking slot in the convention.

Anonymous said...

I wasnt at church. Did Mac Brunson endorse Johnny Hunt? Did he pray that Johnny Hunt would be the president of the SBC? Did he explain his reasoning? There are several other fine men that will be nominated and it would seem VERY self serving if Mac expressed that Johnny Hunt should be elected.

Anonymous said...

Well, arn't you proud to be a member of FBC today. This is one time I would have settled for one of Macs BORING history lessons. This speech{I won't call it a sermon} was more like a counseling session. It sounded like a very bad soap opera. He just gets worse every week. Talking about respect, how about respecting your congregation and preach on JESUS. Good going pulpit selection committee!!!!

Anonymous said...

If there was anyone LOST in the service today, I apologize to you. Please come back again, and maybe he will preach about Jesus. Or, if we are really blessed we will have another preacher preaching the Word.

Jesus said: "I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER; BUT BY ME.

Anonymous said...

I am curious. From reading this blog do you have anything positive to note that Dr. Brunson has done since coming to FB?

Anonymous said...

It becomes more clear every day that Mac is showing his colors. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. If he dosn't take some corrective action, others might. Pastors are living in a very difficult time and we should support them fervently. However, the Lord is long suffering not willing that any should perish. We may give Mac slack; but how long will the Lord give him slack. Is this week two and no gospel/soul winning message? Woe!

Anonymous said...

Yes there is something positive that Dr Brunson has done since arriving. He has shown the members who he is NOT. He is NOT an evangelistic preacher. He is NOT against Rick Warren's PURPOSE DRIVEN movement. He is NOT, in his sermons, going to spend much time preaching the gospel or doctrine. He, simply is NOT!

Anonymous said...

June 8, 2008 7:53 PM - you asked a question if Mac has done anything good since he arrived. I took it to be a rhetorical question. But if you have some ideas on what is good since he came, let us know. I am sure the former staff and former conference room in the children's building would be interested in hearing it.

Anonymous said...

I noticed Mac pulled the ubiquitous "submission" sermon out of the bag this morning. Are women such a threat to these guys that they constantly have to keep them in their "rightful" place? And that thing about "men looking for respect" and how gang members and men in general do crazy things because they want respect is baloney. Men (and women) do crazy things because they're sinners -- pure and simple. Some are mentally ill, and some are just plain mean, but the root of all this "craziness" he speaks of is sin, not for lack of the "respect of a good woman." Too bad he passed up a golden opportunity to share with the man in the pew and those tuning in on TV and the internet what the solution to that sin "problem" is.

Anonymous said...

So let's see if I have his priorities in the Order he has stated them.

1st priority - his wife.
2nd - his kids
3rd - his in-laws and grandkids
4th - his own personal brand
5th - his own personal wealth
6th - jobs and wealth for his family
7th - his national ministry (SBC politics, inspiration network, etc.)
8th - the FBC of Jacksonville.

Too bad it is the FBC Jax that makes all of the above possible for him. But of course, he has the smarts and drive and ambition to be successful without the church or without God. Sure he says he gives God credit, but we all know it is his smarts and drive and ambition.

IT IS WRITTEN said...

Can anyone spell PURPOSE DRIVEN? Sermons composed of psycology on human needs or desires; A Lack of emphasis on the Cross of Christ and redemption for sin. Purpose Driven's focus is not Calvary but humanism with emphasis on numbers with no concern for spiritual growth and maturity.I watched(TV)last weeks sermon and listen to him spin the scriptures without a full explanation of the text,and use it as a bases to attack anyone who desents or have legitimate concerns.It appears as I have suspected for sometime now that Dr.Brunson is only concerned about Dr.Brunson.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday's message: Doctrine no. Salvation preached no. Jesus mentioned no (not once in the message)vaguely mentioned at the invitation that he walked out of. Sex and the city absolutely.

And some of you think this church is not in trouble!!!!. I think the people that have defended Mac up to this point are now beginning to be embarrassed. If not, they should be.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Make no mistake: the people of FBC Jax fully support Mac Brunson. The people yesterday loved his sermon. There was nervous laughter when he cracked the joke about how his buying his wife milk and berries "payed big dividends", but they LOVE HIM and there is no turning back. Mac is here to stay!

Look at yesterday: he explains men's adultery and even men's criminal behavior not as "sin", but as "their desire to have respect"....he gave a very detailed story of how he and his wife counseled a couple in Texas where the man was committing adultery, they came for counseling...only problem is Mac explained in detail who the man was such that people in Dallas listening to the sermon surely would know his identity. So whatever you do...do NOT go to Mac Brunson for counseling if you have marital problem else he may end up exposing you in some future sermon. But that doesn't matter to the people of FBC Jax. They love his oratory and knowledge of history and his deep voice. Doesn't matter that he doesn't present the gospel in his sermons. None of it matters, he's the pastor....he's "God's man"....

Anonymous said...

If I was a member of your church I would run like a scalded cat to get out of there and then shake the dust from my feet when I was gone. If what you say is true (and I have no reason to doubt it since there are videos of his sermons) then you are in more serious trouble than you can even imagine.

Surely there are some good churches in your city.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog: you talk about the people loving the way Mac preaches. Isn't this what happens when people are made comfortable. Just the "good ole boy" telling it like it is. The problem is NO ONE WILL GET SAVED. At one point in the performance yesterday, it was difficult to tell if we were hearing from Brunson or Larry the Cable Guy. What preacher calls their wife "Baby" from the pulpit? That's a classy touch isn't it?

2 Tim:4:2-5: "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. vs.3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears"; vs. 4: "And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

If this church has truly fallen this far that they want this type of tripe, then it's truly over at FBC. And as has been pointed out before, we are in the latter days and the "falling away" of the church. PRAY PRAY PRAY.

Anonymous said...

I live in Dallas and was very familiar with Mac when he was here at FBC. He just never seemed to cut it and was never really part of the church--then people realized he was only using the church for what he could get and then moved on to greener pastures. Just sorry that you had to be the greener pasture.

The sad thing is that FBC has endured the same treatment from Joel Gregory, OS Hawkins, and then Mac. Hopefully the new one won't do the same to a great church.

You guys are in our prayers. You're going to need them!

Anonymous said...

WD - where are the regular cast of Mac Brunson defenders on this post? Where is Robert? Where is Brent? Where is Jon? Where are the other defenders? Why aren't they speaking up to defending Mac against these "lies and slander"? Or maybe they have no defense when their pastor is exposed as a hypocrite of epic proportions.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

News Flash: FBI reports that violent crimes decreased 1.4% over the past year. This is wonderful news, proof that men are not needing so much to be respected this year as last year!

Anonymous said...

I go to FBC Dallas and Mac was certainly no different when he was here. In one of his sermons he told us that Debbie had decided she wanted a car with a mapping system so what did he get her? A brand new Jag! She already drove a BMW convertible but that wasn't good enough. I really don't get it. Doesn't he know that anybody can look at him and tell his clothes are not cheap and the cars they drive are not cheap -- not to mention his house? He made a comment to a friend of mine that "We have nice things, but no nicer than anybody else." Now that's a laugh! But just stand by and watch. All this will catch up to him. God hates pride so Mac will change or he will fall!

Anonymous said...

To: June 9, 2008 11:13 AM

"WD" is no longer posting threads of those who support our pastor. At the least, he is not posting all of them. I've had several that recently were not posted.

He is no longer posting Brett.

Robert probably is busy serving God and living life!

I for one am simply aware of how stupid and sinful these attacks against our pastor are.

Dogs go back to their own vomit....I'm tired of eating all this puke.

Anonymous said...

Blogger of 12:09 Thanks for helping us confirm what we are seeing here. It is true that "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall". Proverbs l6: vs. 18,but, how far does the church have to suffer? I know somewhere, there are pastors that have not "sold out" to this CEO mentality. God bless them!But, to those of us in this Purpose Driven trap, God HELP us. We have a CEO that is Purpose Driven and it appears that we can do nothing. As to whether he lives no better than any one else! If he believed in visitation other than to his "rich friends" he might see that about 95% of the church is middle class or less. Wait a minute, maybe that is why he doesn't visit!!!!! How do you say LOSER in the Greek?

Anonymous said...

I personally know a lot of the mega church pastors and sadly they are all very similiar. Its always fun to be in a room with a bunch of them and watching them all strut their stuff at the same time--and then try and pack all their egos into the same room.

Sadly to disappoint the Mac defenders but when he puts it in print and then visibly violates his own principles--then he's fair game.

The saddest part of all that it isn't a game!

Anonymous said...

Mac continues to mold the church into PD. Small groups have always played a significant function in the local church, they called it Sunday School. But here is a fresh look at how wrong the small group program can go in the hands of a cult leader. www.crossroad.to/articles2/04/3-purpose.htm

Anonymous said...

Respect? - In my opinion, How disrespectful any man is to the woman to suggest that she is the one held accountable (or the cause) for her husband's wondering eye, sexual improprieties, pornography problem, pedophilia problem,etc. How unscriptural and apsostate. If I recall, God held Adam accountable for his own sin. In my opinion, I am more and more concerned about the real man behind the pulpit after hearing this. The last person that blamed the woman for the marital problems, the sexual sins of the man, was one who died before he went to trial for pedophilia. He even blamed his dead first wife (on tape) for his problem with pedophilia. Now that is COURAGEOUS and shows lots of CHARACTER! He preached SUBMISSION of the woman constantly...obviously, even to the point of intimidating the woman into allowing the husband to continue in his sin. I am all for submission to the husband but your first allegiance is to God and His Word. In my opinion, these men that are this far off scripturally are DANGEROUS and many of them use these tactics of intimidation so they can keep the focus off of themselves and what they may or may not be doing. In my opinion, once you have been under this type of ministry you can spot the tactics that are being used to keep the members of the congregation beat down. It's called CONTROL. There is a REAL BIG RED FLAG GOING UP in this whole scenario. It looks like the deacons and all those who can make a difference (even the congregation) have chosen to not use their discernment but to turn a blind eye. Unfortunately, once you have chosen to do that, you are open to anything and sad to say the Lord will eventually let the people have what they want because of their complacency. In my opinion, another church in this town has done this for years and now they have a Pastor that has to be backed into a corner to get to the truth regarding a very serious issue.

All of the above is my own humble opinion, of course.

Anonymous said...

Mac said, counseling wasn't his strong point. Neither is preaching . He doesn't preach doctrine, the whole COUNSEL of God, or about sin and salvation. I have never heard him mention redemption. So what does that leave? Purpose Driven dribble cutesy comments to tickle the ears of the spiritually weak that want to be entertained.

Anonymous said...

I continue to find it interesting that you did not investigate the retirement package Jerry Vines receives. If you did, you would find it is true; however, it is obvious you cannot allow that information to be confirmed (and the amount Mrs. Lindsey received until her death) because they need to be the "good" guys while Brunson is the bad one!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

There is no way anyone can "research" that information. Financial information is closely held, and the pastor or trustees or finance committee would no sooner release the salary and benefit package of Team Brunson than they would the retirement package of Vines and Lindsay.

However, if an insider wanted to effect change, that KNEW of the retirement package and KNEW it was an abuse of church finances, then come forward and use this blog as the vehicle to expose it.

Our church desparately needs someone in a position of power and authority - an insider who gets fed up with the status quo of how money is spent and wasted by the existing power structure - to effect change. Oh, it might be ugly, and heads might roll, and negative press might come our way, but oh the release if we cleaned house, and put new lay leadership in place that won't sit idly by while money is forked over to the pastor - if we could get a pastor who REALLY was focused on reaching this city and not seeking to build financial wealth for self and family until the next big job comes along, who wasn't interested in brand building for himself using a Nashville marketing consulting firm...if this could happen, and all it would take is ONE MAN....who will that man be?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:37 pm

Concerning Mrs. Lindsay her modest annual pension was announced from the pulpit shortly after Dr Lindsay died, in front of the entire Sunday Evening service. It was no secret as to what her pension was. I have no idea why you would bring this subject up as it has no relevance.
Mrs. Lindsay worked tirelessly alongside her husband for 32 years. She was never on the payroll. Many of us were the
recipients of her unique gift of
Godly encouragement. You could never put a price on that. She now is claiming her reward. "Well done good and faithful servant".

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Brunson defenders: why the silence? How does it make you feel to see the hypocrisy of your pastor? He never thought in a million years you would read his book to pastors, so he thought he could get away with accepting all the riches offered him on arrival, and building a huge house - he figured you stupid sheep had no business reading a book to pastors, so you wouldn't ever discover his hypocrisy. Now you know. You should have left this blog weeks ago and you wouldn't have to face this hypocrisy in your pastor.

Of course he did know that in the past Pastor's Conference this year that some of the pastors at the conference who DID read his book would think he was a hypocrite if they saw how he lived, so he made it a point to tell the pastors that he didn't "negotiate" his salary like all of those other terrible pastors...but he forgot to tell the pastors about how he DID enrich himself by a quarter million by accepting a gift from one of his sheep.

Now the hundreds of readers of this blog see in black and white: Mac preaches one thing, but practices another. How shameful.

What say you Mac defenders?

Anonymous said...

WD,

It seems that for once the Team Brunson supporters cannot simply dismiss your statement of fact as "opinion". It is difficult to argue with Mac's own words in black and white.

My hope is that some of these, such as Robert, who have blindly defended Mac will realize that "Hey -- this post is true. There is definitely some hypocrisy here. Maybe some of these other things that WD has posted aren't just the rants of a disgruntled member after all..." I really hope this post opens some eyes.

Many of us Dallas members have posted accounts of things that went on his last few years at FBCD. I think a lot of supporters here wanted to ignore this documented history as "opinions" like they ignored the majority of your posts of the antics in Jacksonville. Well, they weren't opinions. Several have posted links to statements and videos of Mac saying one thing, then doing another. I hope that some of these blind supporters will take a look at the legitimate trouble he left Dallas in after proclaiming his actions as "God's vision" merely months before leaving town.

I'm not posting this as a bitter person who feels like Mac left us high and dry. Frankly, after all that went on (or didn't) in 2004 and 2005, I was one of quite a few who was glad to see him go so we could start some rebuilding. (Not in the physical structure sense, as we had plenty of that under him, but in the fellowship and spiritual sense.)

To the Bruson supporters: just consider the points raised here for a few minutes. Take away the narrative you live under that tells you that "watchdog is angry and wants to take Mac down". Consider for a moment the possibility that at least SOME of the issues raised here are legitimate concerns that WD and others have about the direction of the church. Look at the past of his time in Dallas, and consider the stories told by FBCD members. Consider that perhaps these are decent, Christian, loving individuals who have posted here not out of a personal disdain for a man, but out of genuine concern that his actions will hurt another great church in our convention. Believe me -- if I just hated Mac and didn't care about the effect he is having on your church and the convention as a whole, I wouldn't spend a minute typing a post to bash him -- I would just be happy he was out of my hair!

I think this latest entry has hit a few nerves, and has hopefully caused some people to realize that there is more to the issues raised here than just an angry blogger who has nothing better to do. This is real. Mac is real. He is effecting real changes at FBC Jacksonville. He is realizing substantial financial gains for him and his family. Are these real actions furthering the cause of Christ and taking the church in the right direction? Or are there some legitimate concerns which must be addressed before it is too late?

I urge the Brunson supporters to take a step back and give some geniune consideration to these issues. It is not a game, and they have real life effects on many in your church, your community, your convention, and the church of believers.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - thank you for your post.

I want to ask you a question that I've posted here before but as of yet have NOT gotten an answer to. I think the answer might help us.

When Mac preached at the SBC Convention in the Summer of 2005, he said that 2004 was the absolute worst year of his ministry, that he was looking for "any crack, the smallest of crack" and he would have left and gone elsewhere. I found this extremely strange to preach while still the pastor of FBC Dallas...but what was it about his ministry in 2004 that would cause him to say how bad it was that he wanted to leave - and then ADMIT IT to the convention?

Can you shed any light on this?

Anonymous said...

WD,

Obviously, I cannot state with certainty what Mac meant when he made those comments, but I will offer the following account of my recollections as to what all was occuring during the 2004-2005 timeframe.

I was not aware of those comments until you mentioned them on the blog a few weeks ago. However, I do recall sometime in late 2005/early 2006 that he mentioned that 2004 was a difficult year for him. He didn't say (to FBCD) that he would have left if he had had the opportunity though -- quite the contrary.

His context at the time was "defending" against the "rumors" of his leaving. Something along the lines of "if I was going to leave, I would have done it in 2004 which was a hard year for me" -- not an exact quote, but paraphrased. He also, around the same time, talked about how the committee from FBC Jax had approached him several times over the past 18 months or so and that he had told them "no" several times". As you can see, the context was more of a statement of "I could have left and I didn't" rather than "if I could have left I would". Of course, as you all are aware, the Dallas Morning News "stole" the "right" he had to tell FBCD about his move. But I won't digress into the idiocy of that sermon...

In 2003, Mac announced the "vision", with great pomp and circumstance -- renting the Dallas Convention Center for a huge Sunday lauch of the new building plans. He clearly laid out the plan of getting 1/2 the money in pledges and 1/2 in cash before breaking ground. I do not recall a great amount of opposition at the time, just some skepticism that this would happen. But we took him at his word and his promise on the financial end of the deal.

In 2004, the opposition grew greater as he began to backtrack on the promise of 1/2 cash 1/2 pledges. Personally, I saw a tremendous change in Mac when he decided that he didn't need to keep that promise. He became more angry, the chastising sermons started, and he even called out groups from the pulpit -- along the lines of the kinds of things that apparently occur on a weekly basis in Jax.

He pushed the church to vote to amend the plan and broke ground before the 1/2 cash 1/2 pledges were in place. After this vote, the opposition grew as many, including myself, felt he had gone back on his strong word. He did not have the pledges he needed, in fact he was about $10M short. Additionally, some pledges were not coming in as planned. (Which, in my opinion should have been accounted for in the planning -- I think he should have gone with 50% in cash and 60% in pledges or something to allow for the fact that some people would not follow through.)

Shortly after the go-ahead vote, the contractor change occurred which was detailed here several weeks ago. This was another concerning issue to many members as it gave the appearance that under-the-table deals were being made, and that things were not competely as they seemed. I personally think the decisions he made that year to forge ahead on the building caused some great spiritual distress in his life, which is likely what led to him having such a difficult year. This is my opinion, of course, but the change in his tone and demeanor was quite evident during this time. I think it changed him permanently, and now he addresses all things as if it is him and God vs. the rest of you people who don't read your Bibles or bring them to church.

As the word began to get out in the months leading up to the DMN piece that he was leaving, he got more and more defensive and angry. His explanation to the congregation about the events leading up to his departure was nonsensical and illogical. I honestly don't know how anyone could hear his statements and believe him. They just didn't fit together. (I think that audio or video of this was previously linked here, but I don't have the exact quotes right now.)

Many have said, and Mac would probably say, that the opposition to the new building in Dallas was just a bunch of old church members who didn't want to move into modern ministry. Initially, that was probably true. But as financial and contractual improprieties began to surface, the opposition grew to include many who were not opposed to tearing down a building (which needed to go, trust me!), but who were legitimately concerned about the effects of diverting from "God's vision". To put it bluntly, if God had given him a vision on how to do this building, as he claimed, then why would we not trust God to fulfill His vision if we acted on it?

When Mac came to FBCD he was a different person than he is today, and than he has been since late 2004 when all this began to occur. As I said, I attribute the change to his decision to switch from following "God's plan" to reach God's vision, to "Mac's plan" to reach God's vision. It seems that he took matters into his own hands and became bitter and angry as a result. Again, just my opinion, but there are many others who recognized this same chain of events.

I don't know if that answers your question or not. Ultimately, I think there was some dishonesty from him with the congregation in Dallas regarding his departure, his communications with the FBC Jax committee, and his explanations to FBCD. There is certainly a great difference in his statements to the convention and his statements to the church in Dallas.

(Additionally, in early 2005, word got out that a staff member was involved in an inappropriate relationship which ultimately led to his resignation. I know they were close, and I do not know how long Mac knew of this situation, but that certainly could have created some ministry difficulties as well. I am not trying to dredge up old past, but merely to be completely honest that there could have been external factors -- independent of Mac's actions -- which caused some of his difficulties around that time.)

I'll be glad to answer other questions if I can, but many of these events blur together after several years. It was hard to follow at the time, and even harder to follow now trying to think back!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Dallas Anon - your words resonate with many of the members here in Jax. Thank you for so clearly explaining your experience with Mac. To me its quite apparent you have no particular axe to grind, that you're not wishing to just dig up past dirt on Mac, but that you wish to share what you know in hopes that it might help FBC Jax deal correctly with Mac Brunson. I hope the members of our church will hear your message.

As much as people here posting in defense of Mac think I'm just out to get Mac and bring him down, quite the opposite is true. I very much want Mac to address these very obvious questionable actions on his part - the land deal, the nepotism, the bylaw changes, and others - to humbly and publicly clear the air. If he is going to lead this church into future glory days he MUST address these issues with his congregation.

These issues really seem to keep piling up - the latest of which is his Holy Land trip - these actions that seem to be so self-serving - what he and his wife and son don't realize is as time goes on and as they keep piling up these actions are causing most church members, at some level, even his supporters to some degree, some more than others, to not trust Mac and to not believe he is forthright and believable; and even to doubt his motives. There is a growing sense of unrest, a growing sense of distrust...Mac most certainly does not see it because those closest to him won't tell him, but its there.

This is why I have been a proponent for Mac addressing the issues raised on this blog IN PUBLIC before his church. Mac's defenders have said over and over again - "go talk to him to get your questions answered privately". I say NO - he owes me no answer, he does owe his congregation answers and explanations. When he gets ready to roll out the capital program - when he floats the same idea for us that he did for Dallas about cash plus pledges and going ahead with construction trusting that we can do it debt free - he is going to need everyone behind the plan. He needs to have credibility with his congregation when he asks them to dig deep. His accepting of the land gift has already compromised his personal financial integrity when he asks us to give sacrificially. His taking of $500k for a school in an unannounced business meeting hurts his church financial credibility. Then his asking for $100k on Easter to put him back on TV and the use of our church to push his own Holy Land trips - this too has hurt his credibility. It is going to be VERY difficult once the day comes to roll out the capital campaign. Those who don't trust Mac may be silent now, patiently waiting. But when Mac asks them to make a committment to a capital program - that's when he likely will see the fruits of his actions thus far at our church.

Just knowing what you've shared here on this blog and to me privately Anon causes me to question his sincerety if he tells us that he plans to complete our capital improvements debt free. I will hold on to the back up information you have provided and will share it with the church, through this blog, at the opportune time if necessary.

Please Mac....please those in lay leadership or staff positions that I KNOW read this blog. Reach out to Mac. Convince him to humble himself. Convince him to come to his church and explain the land deal. Convince him to explain his wife and son's ministry responsibilities. Convince him to lovingly explain why the bylaws were changed and what the changes were. Explain the circumstances of whether the land deal was used or was not used to entice you to come. Humble yourself Mac and see what the Lord might do.

Anonymous said...

You think we're beginning to see a pattern here?

I'm not so sure Mac "humbling" himself would fix this deal. He needs counseling and the sad part is that the "enablers" who are allowing him to do all of this probably need to join him at the counselor's office.

You guys are in a real mess. Sure hope and pray that you can find a way to fix it before it destroys your great church.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Here is an email received from one of the Brunson defenders. Although they gave me their name in the email, I am not including it in the post. Yes, this person does offer an explanation for the hypocrisy; I still think a better explanation than the one below is that since Mac's book was co-authored, the part that I'm citing wasn't written by Mac but the co-author, and thus Mac is not a hypocrite since he didn't write it. :)


------------

Hey, in case you’re wondering where “we” are (the supporters)…..

In regards to the hypocrisy, I’ve seen your post. The fact is, he never said that it is a sin to accept gifts. What he said was to guard against greed. It’s that simple. And only God knows if he accepted the land as a gift and blessing (which I believe to be the truth) or if it was an act of greed (which is what you think).

Either way, your approach to our Pastor is sin (even if he was in sin in regards to his book). We are instructed, by God, to confront our brothers face to face and not behind their backs.

My silence on your blog is due to the fact that I’m tired of seeing brothers fight in the public square. Even though I have many facts, it would do no good to state them on a blog. Either people would question the validity of what I said, or simply contradict it. It would simply give them more “fuel” for their fire (a comment you made yourself).

And the fact that most people state “facts” on the blog without even identifying who they are, shows the lack of authority by which they speak.

So, here I am! That’s what I think.

Anonymous said...

All you have to do is read the book and then look at how he lives.

Even a moron could figure this one out.

Anonymous said...

I am a Brunson Supporter most of the time, and I didn't like that sermon on Sunday very well. So does that mean I should come on here and start bashing the pastor, I don't know, but I don't think so. I am starting to have doubts about whether or not I belong at First Baptist if its such a rich church as you say, because I'm not sure I can relate in this church. To the members or the church in general. But does that mean the church is at fault....NO. It just means maybe I should take my membership somewhere else, not come on here and bash the pastor. What I didn't like about the sermon on Sunday was the personal stories, the view of women, etc. I have had a problem with that since I've been here, cause I'm not a real good Baptist on that issue. I could do without some of the personal stories sometimes. Its just an OPINION. I think if I have a major issue with the church then I should leave, not come on here and bash.

Anonymous said...

The Dallas blog was very revealing. For some time now we have been receiving bits and pieces of how and when Mac Brunson was called to be our pastor. The members at FBC Jax were led to believe that a list of names were given to the selection/nominating/pastor search committee. We now know from, Mac, Dallas, and FBC JAX members, that Dr. Vines had been trying to get Mac Brunson to come to FBC for over a year before we selected him. Dr. Vines had been moving our church into PURPOSE DRIVEN church growth for years but for one reason or another he could not, or would not make the full transition. Mac Brunson was already well into the PD movement at Dallas. We were told that BIG CHANGES WERE COMING when Mac came. We at Jax were BLINDSIDDED by this wholesale change process; and our heads are still spinning as we speak. I have spent some time now listing web sites which would inform the members of the destructive, contrary to scripture, Rick Warren church growth movement. I hope and pray that the readers will take this information to heart. Our battle is not against Mac Brunson, per se, but against anyone who would attempt to move their church contrary to God's word. Listen brothers, I haven't scratched the surface of this PD movement. There are other heart felt watchmen on the web, in books, and on the radio, who can further enlighten you. If I could find the truth, so can you. Search the scripture and you will find the truth.

Anonymous said...

The capital program: (just my opinion) You mentioned the capital program. Brunson has been working on control of the deacons for over a year now. In small groups he has been meeting with the deacons for lunch. Just to get to know the deacons but also to gain their confidence and backing. This is the Purpose Driven process of obtaining GROUP CONTROL. Once GROUP CONTROL is obtained the group will agree, as a group, to what ever Mac will put forth. In the past the deacons have always supported what Dr Lindsay, or Dr. Vines wanted. They could trust them. The trust in Dr. Brunson may be questionable? Nevertheless, here is what may happen. The church will get an estimate for the capital improvements, school, satellite, land and for the rest of the BRUNSON VISION. The finance committee (or what ever the bylaws now call it) will vote on it. Naturally, they will agree to the loan because each member will not want to go against THE PASTOR AND THE GROUP. Then the pastor will call for a big meeting with all of the deacons. The deacons will meet for dinner in the dinning hall; like they did when BRUNSON'S VISION was first introduced. (more group control) After dinner the deacons will be told of the cost of THE VISION. A discussion will follow and the deacons will vote and will approve the CAPITAL PROGRAM. Another group vote. Then the Pastor through the HEAD DEACON will approach the FULL CHURCH and say the deacons have approved THE COST OF THE VISION and the church will vote to approve the funding of THE VISION. Another group controled decision. No one will want to be singled out as a resistor. You will never ever hear anyone go against the wishes of the deacons of pastor. This is just my opinion or how things may go down.

Anonymous said...

Annon. of l2:03 is 100% correct. This whole "change" issue is the result of Purpose Driven. It is much larger than one pastor who has sold out to this dangerous movement. It is an issue that affects the very survival of churches as we know them to be. I mean churches that exist for the purpose of preaching Gods word. Not just a use of the scripture to support some position or problem the preacher is having that day. Sundays sermon was a disgrace. The church exist MAINLY to bring the LOST to JESUS!!!! This certainly does not appear to be a priority at FBCJAX today. If we continue to knowingly allow this church to drift away from being what it has always been a SOULWINNING church, are we not going to be guilty before God for doing nothing and ALLOWING their blood to be on our hands. James 4: vs.17: "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin". We are the church, not just the pastor, we DO have a say so as to how we want this church to go. I believe most of us are God fearing people that want to please God. We want to lead people to Jesus. The problem is we have a leader that has other priorities, from what we see of his actions and words.

12:03 was also correct in that Dr. Vines was headed in the purpose driven direction when he was still here. There were definite changes after Dr. Lindsays death, most toward P.D. Dr. Vines even said in the pulpit, "I know Rick Warren, Rick Warren is a friend of mine." To be fair many of the mega preachers were beginning to dabble in this purpose driven movement.Dr. Vines also said upon discussing Brunson taking over, "You won't believe the changes coming to FBC." My question is, why go anywhere near this humanism? We have taken our eyes off Jesus, and we are falling away. For those of you who don't remember, between 2003 -2005, we had "The Purpose Driven Life" book taught in Training Union, TWICE!!! The book was sold in our bookstore then. I don't know if it is still sold there now or not. So, most definitely we have been on the purpose driven trail for a long time. We were a target early on for the PD movement. We now are reaping what happens when a church allows itself and its leaders to take their eyes off of Jesus!!!!!

Early on this church was guilty of being naive regarding its direction. Now to continue in this purpose driven mode or allowing our leaders to do nothing makes us guilty after the fact of being accomplices.

Robert L. Peeples said...

It seems the Brunson supporters ,like myself, have become popular among the readers of this blog.
Readers are demanding our opinions on this particular article posted by the Watchdog and I'm sure they have been entertained by our previous responses to articles as well.


Do not worry recalcitrants; I, the Commander in Chief of Operation: Muzzled Dog, will deliver a statement very soon regarding this particular article.
Recalcitrants and Sheep alike, you will also be interested to know that I will be seeing Pastor Brunson this week.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Robert - yes, we would love to hear your defense of this particular article. We value your careful and skilled analysis, and deep insights.

"Operation: Muzzled Dog" - how cute Robert. I too am a big Rush fan.

If you see Mac, please report back what he tells you about how he justifies accepting the land gift given his own words in his guidebook for pastors. Would love to hear it.

I know this seems like a game to you Robert, ha ha, this is funny, let's "muzzle" the Watchdog. Your pastor has exposed our church to great shame and ridicule by his own actions. He has harmed his own ability to lead us into very important things coming up. This is serious.

So concentrate on how you can muzzle the watchdog Robert, as though that is the problem...if you could just make the bloggers stop, everything would be great. Not so easy friend. The problem at FBC Jax is not this blog.

Anonymous said...

You may think that the submission message was good Sunday and in its proper context it was. There could be another purpose PD for this missage. We have heard this message preached for years and we think that it was addressed to the women. Yet, this could be addressed to the men who want their wives to submit to them. These men become in agreement with the pastor who is confronting the women. The men are rooting for the pastor. You tell them pastor. All the while the pastor realy wants the men to be of a submission frame of mind. The pastor, when he gets the men to agree that submission is right, will want the men to submit to him. AND THEY WILL. Preachers have used this tactic before. Mac Brunson may be employing this method to gain further control of the men at FBCJ. He has increased his yelling at the congregation. Often when one starts to increase the speed of talking and raises his voice,as was noticed lately, this talking or preaching becomes SELLING. Is Mac Brunson SELLING SUBMISSION NOW? Watch out men don't be suckered in.

Anonymous said...

We're all atwitter in eager anticipation of that.

Anonymous said...

Wathman 4:57 does not understand that as soon as Brunson gains complete control of the church he will drop 4:57 in a heartbeat. Just as he has most of the staff. And you have not seen anything. Waite till the Committee Chairmen are eliminated. Then, the all important finance committee. Yep, they go too. Under the new bylaws who appoints the members of this committee. Is it the pastor? After the Pupose Driven transition is completely installed Mac Brunson won't need all of these people. The church will be run by a new staff with a new PURPOSE. THAT NEW PURPOSE IS TO DO WHAT EVER THE PASTOR WANTS. Do you get it?

Robert L. Peeples said...

Mr. Watchdog....sir,

Let's get something clear, as you seem to be misguided in this instance. I need no justification or explanation for his land. You are the one wanting justification. So you can go get it yourself. Just because your blog isn't working does not mean you can get other people to do your dirty work for you. Sorry. I'm not in the business of dirty politics.

Your pastor has exposed our church to great shame and ridicule by his own actions. He has harmed his own ability to lead us into very important things coming up. This is serious......yeah, yeah, yeah. We've heard it all before, Watchdog, in the hundreds of other articles you've posted. What else is new...

So concentrate on how you can muzzle the watchdog Robert, as though that is the problem...if you could just make the bloggers stop, everything would be great. Not so easy friend. The problem at FBC Jax is not this blog......As Pro-Brunson supporters, we are not trying to get you to stop blogging because we think you'll ruin our church or expose our pastor of some ridiculous accusation. The Lord's work will happen no matter what you do to try and stop it. We are just trying to show you this through our blogging.

Stay tuned Readers.....things on this blog are heating up.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Dirty politics...this blog is many things. Dirty politics its not Robert. But that's OK. I understand.

Definitely stay tuned. Definitely heating up. You go Robert!

IT IS WRITTEN said...

I now really understand the plight of the Apostle Paul when he quoted these words; "Take heed therefore unto yourselves,and to all the flock,over the which the Holy Ghost have made you overseers,to feed the Church of God,which he has purchased with His own Blood. For I KNOW this,that after my departing will GRIEVOUS WOLVES Enter in AMONG YOU,not SPARING THE FLOCK.Also from AMONG YOUR OWN SELVES will men arise SPEAKING PERVERSE(DISTORTED) THINGS,to DRAW away Disciples(The Roberts,ET,AL) after THEM(SELVES).Therefore WATCH,and REMEMBER,that by the space of three years I cease not to WARNS(Watchdog)every one night and day with tears[Acts 20:28-31].Watchdog is not the Apostle Paul but he has sounded a warning not only effecting FBC but speading like gangrene(2Tim.2:17)thru-out Christendom.Any man who would attempt to implement PURPOSE DRIVEN is seriously misguided,if not absolutely DANGEROUS.It is proving to be a seriously flawed evangelical ideaology as evidented by the comments of it;s authors Rick Warren and Bill Hybels.Watchdog your concerns about Mac Brunson and the direction of FBC is directly related to Brunson's self-absorbed attempted to force this dangerous theology upon your Church.I whole-heartedly agree with Anon's 12:03pm and 2:34pm that Dr.Vines began the process of PD while pastor but for whatever reason did not fully implement it.I Warn you that if Brunson continues his headlong plunge into PD nothing but more and more trouble looms ahead for FBC.The more info revealed on this blog concerning Brunson the more I believe God is exposing him as misguided or an Imposter.

Anonymous said...

Robert,

I have read all of your posts and usually agree with most of what you say. From the very beginning I was very opposed to this blog and what it was doing--BUT--that was before Mac's book came out.

Please tell me how you can read that book and then justify his style of living? You and I both know he's living a lavish lifestyle.

BTW, I live in Dallas and have no dog in this hunt other than the fact that I have been a strong supporter of your church for many years and hope to continue to do so.

Anonymous said...

There is no FINANCE COMMITTEE at FBCJ. It is gone.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I don't believe you. We have no finance committee? I thought we have always had one. Is this a recent development?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Any confirmation out there: is it true that our finance committee was disbanded? Was this part of the secretive bylaw changes last fall?

Anonymous said...

Is there no one who knows whether or not we have a finance committee at First Baptist Church Jacksonville, Fla.? Anyone! Robert! Brett! Any Supporter!

Anonymous said...

Dallas, do you know if FBCJ has a finance committee? You have been through this transition. Did you loose your finance committee when Dr. Brunson was there?

Anonymous said...

This is pitiful. We don't know whether or not we have a finance comm.??? And, WHAT is the reason for secret bylaws..... to keep things secret, of course.... like whether or not we have a finance committee. And, how much are we paying for this secrecy? Is anyone in control that we know, like a longtime member.Do we still have a church administrator? Would he know if we have a finance comm.? Whats next for goodness sake? Doesn't it boggle the mind?

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha -- Dallas here... no, I don't think we lost our finance committee. Mac just managed to leave us $10M+ in debt with the committee still in place!

Anonymous said...

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,if ye have love one to; another. John 13:34,35. We love you men.

Robert L. Peeples said...

Finally, the much anticipated response from the Commander in Chief of Operation: Muzzled Dog. (I'm glad you can put 2 and 2 together Dog)

The watchdog is quoted saying this:

"Mac doesn't explain exactly WHY he cautions against accepting gifts..."

I have not read the pastors new book, but perhaps this is true. Maybe he doesn't clearly explain why he cautions against pastors accepting gifts. Personally, I think he is cautioning against greed.

One of my troops, a fellow Brunson supporter, makes a very good point. He is quoted saying the following:

"The fact is, he never said that it is a sin to accept gifts. What he said was to guard against greed. It’s that simple. And only God knows if he accepted the land as a gift and blessing (which I believe to be the truth) or if it was an act of greed (which is what you think)."

I certainly concur. No one except God knows each of our hearts. So to assume the Pastor accepted a gift out of greed, and to condemn the acceptance of this gift or call it unethical, is simply taking on the role of God and is sin in itself.

People, who I have talked to, often say that we are fruit inspectors. We are to be fruit bearers, for God's Kingdom. Let God be the harvestor and the inspector of our own fruits. I'm not the pastor and I certainly cannot see his motives behind what he does. I don't know if he accepted the land as a gift or if he accepted it out of greed. I will never be able to know this and I am not God, so it's not my place to "inspect" this issue. Nor is it anybody else's job either. What I do know, however, is that we have a great preacher and pastor. And I believe that he is doing his best to follow God's plan for our church. No man is perfect. This goes for people in the church, whether they are in the leadership or not. Dr. Vines always used to say "If you find a perfect church, don't join it because you'll ruin it". No church is perfect because no human being is perfect. But if we do our best as a church to follow God's will in reaching those who are lost around us, he will indeed bless us.

When my brother started driving at the age of 15, he would often drive my father and I around to different places such as Wal-Mart. Being the kind of person I am, I would ride in the backseat and be the backseat driver; Meaning, everytime my brother would make a mistake, I would be the first one to call him out on it. Well, being the two brothers that we are, he would say something back to me and I would argue and eventually my dad would have to tell me to be quite and let him be the Father and teach my brother how to drive. It wasn't my place to tell my brother how to drive. My dad was in the front seat teaching him how to drive, not me. He had the life experience (and the title to the car and the insurance payments for that matter), I was young and had only been driving for a couple of years. It was not my place to be giving driving advice. The only thing my two cent, backseat driving tips did was create strife and therefore making it harder for my brother to get us where we were supposed to be going. If I had thought about it, I should have kept quiet so I wouldn't bother my brother while driving so we could get there alive!

I was the Watchdog in this situation with my brother and father. I wanted to be in control and make sure everything was exactly as it should be when it came to driving and getting somewhere with my brother at the wheel, just as the Watchdog is doing with the pastor in the pulpit. I didn't care if my dad was teaching my brother how to drive or not. If I didn't feel comfortable while riding with my brother, I spoke up, just as the Watchdog has about our Pastor and his land gift in this particular situation.
It wasn't my place to speak up then, and it isn't the Watchdog's or anybody else's place to inspect the pastors personal life. God has control over Pastor Brunson just as my father had control over how my brother was driving. I have my own life to worry about. I cannot keep up with the pastors life and make sure he is doing everything the way God would want it done. Let God handle those situations and make sure you are following God's will for your life and you are doing your job.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Robert - how sad that you've fallen for it. I'm sorry young man that after growing up at FBC Jax this is how you've learned to discern between right and wrong. Your post, if indicitive of the people of our church and how they view these matters, shows we have fallen so very far.

So whether its right or wrong to accept a $300,000 land gift depends on the motives not the action itself. If a pastor does it in "greed" its wrong. If he doesn't do it in "greed", its OK.

This is liberalism sir and you were never taught this at our church. This is situational ethics. "Well, the accepting of that gift might be right for some people, depending on their motives. For some people it might be wrong. It depends on the motive, so therefore I can't ascertain whether its right or wrong"

Let me help you out Robert:

Its always wrong for the head of a 501(c)3 organization to accept a gift from one of the donors. Always. Ask the head of any 501(c)3 organization.

Your analogy is just plain stupid. To compare the act of "learning how to drive" to the act of "accepting a $300k land gift" just doesn't make sense.

In your zeal to defend your pastor, you've lost Robert your ability to discern.

Of all posts I've seen here, yours is the saddest. It tells me how far a church can fall in such a short time.

What a shame. We're worse off than I ever thought.

Anonymous said...

Robert,

It is interesting that you interpret Mac's book to warn solely against greed. I took the quotes more along the lines of "pastors should be above the appearance of impropriety". I could be wrong, but that it how it seemed to me.

The reason for this was his citing the "no tolerance" rule that Billy Graham followed regarding car gifts. Graham didn't sometimes take cars if it was solely an effort to accept a gift, and sometimes refuse them if he felt like he was being greedy. It was more about the impression that his acceptance would give others.

Now, I have no problem with someone making enough money and buying a nice car or house. A pastor, on the other hand, has some responsibilities that you and I do not have -- especially a high-profile one such as Mac.

When you couple that added responsibility with the juxtaposition of his book vs. his actions, well, it smells a little funny to me. I think that most anyone reading this can conclude there is some level of hypocrisy here. I say "most" because apparently you have found a way to reconcile Mac's warning to preachers with his own personal lifestyle. Bravo, Robert. Bravo!

It is interesting to me that you and one anonymous poster are the only two who have come to Mac's defense on this issue. And you simply cited the other guy's post and expanded on it a little. I guess it is tough to come up with an original defense (or an original idea for your "operation") when there are really no valid defenses out there.

This is blatent hypocrisy. Other self-proclaimed Brunson supporters (or should I say "troops" or "operatives") have admitted that while they disagree with most of what WD has posted, this entry makes a valid point.

My hope is that you will take a step back and give some consideration to the fact that clinging to weak interpretations of Mac's book made by other posters may not be the best way to look at this.

I know you want to defend Mac -- you like him. You've said so many times. There is nothing wrong with that. You can think his ideas are good -- school, satellites, what have you. You can think his preaching is good. You can think his cleaning house and bringing in his own staff is good. But there are a lot of issues raised here that I just can't see how you legitimately think they are good: nepotism, lavish expenditures on new office space, the hypocrisy which has been CLEARLY established on the land deal, etc.

In all seriousness, please, take a step back. Consider that even though you like the guy, he isn't infallible. Hey, I bet you would even agree with me that Rush's drug problem back in 2003 was not good. That doesn't mean we don't both like him, enjoy his commentary, etc. But let's be real with each other for a minute and admit that even though you like Mac and want him to continue with his efforts, there are some legitimate things which should be corrected.

Mac himself has warned against the all-too-common practice of following a preacher (man) as opposed to following Christ. I am honestly afraid that you are so gung-ho on defending Mac that you aren't able to see these things rationally.

Anonymous said...

That was what we waited all day for? Wow.

Robert L. Peeples said...

Pastor Brunson could have written his portion of the book after he accepted the land gift. If this is true, maybe he personally feels, after looking back, that he should not have accepted the land as a gift. So the book could be a warning to other pastors based on personal experience and not a book of hypocrisy as many of you feel it is.

Anonymous said...

Let me help you Watchdog. You are calling Pastor Brunson's actions sinful or reproachful based off of the business world's ethics. That's called LEGALISM.

Robert is anything but liberal.

"So whether its right or wrong to accept a $300,000 land gift depends on the motives not the action itself. If a pastor does it in "greed" its wrong. If he doesn't do it in "greed", its OK."

So you base a spiritual leader's value off of actions and not his heart!

Thanks for clearing that up for all to see! You really don't care about our Pastor's heart or whether or not he is in sin. You simply care about whether or not he lives up to a CEO's standard. But wait! You don't want him to be a CEO! Please explain.....no nonononono....please don't. I'm not going to hold my breath.

Anonymous said...

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Gentlemen, it is Mac's book. You know what is in YOUR BOOK. You believe what is in YOUR BOOK. That which is in your heart is in YOUR BOOK. The BOOK IS DR. MAC BRUNSON. He is without excuse. Supporters, don't let Mac deceive you. Don't let him cause you to descend to his level. We think more highly of you than he does. Mac's focus is on himself and were he wants to go; not where the Lord want him to go. Now I have no idea where the Lord wants Mac to go. But, I do know, from the scripture, that Mac is off track. It appears to me that Mac has a problem with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. I may be wrong and I hope I am. Maybe he is just following what many of the other large church pastors are doing. All we see is the evidence of his works. It all looks like Purpose Driven to me. Supporters let us stick to the facts.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I don't want my pastor to live up to a CEO standard.

I don't want him to be a greedy hypocrite, taking large gifts from our donors to enrich himself and his family all the while he is selling a book telling other pastors and seminary students to not do what he is doing, and all the while making other decisions consistent with a person who is concerned about enriching self and family at the expense of the church.

I know people like you have lost your ability to discern correctly the actions of your pastor. Sadly, so did people at Trinity. That is what is beginning to concern me. Some men abuse churches sexually. Some men abuse churches financially. Both instances absolutely require the same thinking that you're displaying: Oh, Brother Mac's motives are pure. Oh, he took that gift not because he's greedy, because we know Mac and he's just not that way. Oh, Brother Bob is "counseling" young boys and girls privately in his office....but that's not wrong. We know Brother Bob and his motives which I'm sure are to teach them scripture. Baloney.

Give me a break. Open your eyes.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Also anon, I never said R was a liberal as I know he is not and you're not and I'm not. But his thinking in this instance is liberal!

And I'm glad you are throwing the legalism tag out. You've learned well from your pastor. Those who demand accountability of the pastor in these areas are: "legalists who have their own set of rules and lists".

You're learning well my friend!

Anonymous said...

Well it is 10:26, has anyone called the church office to see if we still have a FINANCIAL COMMITTEE? Surely someone knows? Or, do the supporters not want to know? Is this going to be just another thing that they will have to give some superficial reason for. You know like, who cares if we have a financial committee. Who cares if the pastor is solidifying more control at the TOP. AKA PURPOSE DRIVEN. WHO CARES IF WE ARE PURPOSE DRIVEN ANYWAY. Can't you just hear them? Come on men show us some discernment. Show the church members and this country that you have some integrity.

Anonymous said...

Defenders:What are you going to do when you discover that you are blindly devoted to defending an "idea" of what you want to be the truth? I worry about how it is going to affect you, because, you have so wholeheartedly, thrown yourself into this indefensable, defense. This is the sad part of what's happened here. Blindly trusting, walking ever closer to the edge of the cliff. People sometimes, get hurt when they don't heed the warnings of others. At least consider that all is not as it should be at FBC. The reason this blog is here is to get answers that are troubling so many. Do you not see that many have a problem with the actions taken and no consideration given to the members of this church. To list all questionable things done, would waste time, you know what they are. We are at an impasse. We are expected to have "blind obedience, no questions asked". We who question,expect to have consideration and love shown to us as a church and not to have a stumbling block before us. Keep in mind that Dallas had many of the same problems. They sounded an alarm also. We cannot just throw their experience away. Blinders are for horses, not for people in the church. This church is not given to strife. This is the first time we have EVER been in this position. I Timothy chp.6 vs. 17-18: "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy": vs. 18: " That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to COMMUNICATE:."

Anonymous said...

"I don't want my pastor to live up to a CEO standard."

Then why do you compare him to corrupt business leaders? Assuming you can read the sin of another man's heart!

"I don't want him to be a greedy hypocrite..."

And now that you assume you know his sin nature, you blog publicly to stop him? That is unbliblical! You don't have the guts to confront him face to face on ANY given Wednesday.


"Those who demand accountability of the pastor in these areas are: "legalists who have their own set of rules and lists". "

NO. You are legalistic because you use man made rules to support the assesment of another man's sin. You do not use the bible to support confronting him face to face. The bible INSTRUCTS you to do that. Therefore, you are living in sin. Period. End of discussion.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sorry everyone, time to close the blog. Anon who is not so Anon says "end of discussion".

I'll amend my remark from:

"I don't want him to be a greedy hypocrite..."

to

"I don't him to APPEAR to be a greedy hypocrite"

leaving open the possibility that he is not in fact a greedy hypocrite, but just that to most objective people he would APPEAR to be a greedy hypocrite, which he should be concerned about, that his incongruent actions and words make him look like one.

You obviously are confused as to what "legalism" is, so I can't really help you there. You can criticize my words and methods, but they are not "legalism".

Whether I have or have not discussed these issues with Mac Brunson, and no matter my motives in discussing or not discussing them, these don't have anything to do with HIS words and actions. As I've said before he owes me no personal explanation but he owes his church an explanation.

Open your eyes.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who says Dr. Vines leans toward the purpose driven movement obviously doesn't know Dr. Vines very well. The Dr. Vines I sat under for 24 years is a traditional-style preacher, known for his oratory and expository skills, not being purpose driven.

Knowing and liking Rick Warren as a person doesn't mean someone is purpose driven in their theology or style.

Anonymous said...

"I've said before he owes me no personal explanation but he owes his church an explanation."

You're a member of the church Watchdog, therefore according to your terms, he does owe you an explanation. So why don't you go get an explanation, as the Bible instructs us to do when there is strife among two brothers in Christ. Face your fear of excommunication and confront the pastor about the issues you have with him.

Anonymous said...

ANNON 2:02 I was there the same 24 years you were . As a matter of fact, I was there years before that. After Dr. Lindsay died, Dr. Vines did bring some elements of PD into our church. I assume you remember that twice, the Purpose Driven Life book was taught in Training Union. This trend was invading many churches at that time. There were other PD hallmarks creeping in. The music became louder and more modern. Sunday School was called Bible Fellowship (a PD term). Sunday School teachers were to be called "facilitators", but this term never really caught on. The church was changed to a "campus",. Cells were started(a disaster). Visitation became less of a priority. Revivals never happened on the scale that we had before. Junior Hill came for 1 or 2 days. All of these things subtle as they were, spoke Purpose Driven. PD did not get a strong hold on the church until now.

Anonymous said...

2:02/2:06 Friend, and I believe we would be friends if we were face to face; I personally have talked to the pastor. He does not believe that he is doing anything wrong. If you do not agree with him on very serious issues he will not change. His agenda is ever before him in every discussion that we have had with him. You and others think that watchdog is the only person that is having a problem with Mac Brunson. From this blog you must admit that there are many of us who are having a very difficult time with this pastor. There are many others and I personally know dozens who are upset with many things that Mac Brunson is doing. All over the church. Many of them do not even know about this blog. What keeps the members here at FBC JAX is the love for the member who are still here. Many other have long gone. Others are about to leave. No, a face to face discussion will not work. We have tried that and it will not work. Mac is in error and he must change.

Anonymous said...

ANON 2:02 You are correct in stating that Dr. Vines was not a PURPOSE DRIVEN PREACER. Jerry Vines was one of the best teacher preachers in the country. Second only to Charles Stanley; Charlie, my dad's favorite preacher. In my humble opinion. We loved and respected Dr. Vines for his indept preaching of God's Word. He has never been in the Rick Warren mold of preachers. However, there is no doubt that he brought many of the Purpose Driven changes into our church. We could spell out many purposes driven things that we began to do after Dr. Lindsay past on. You could reflect back on these changes if you would read the Purpose Driven Church.RW FBC JAX is filled with the changes. But thanks for reminding us about Dr. Vines' wonderful preaching.

Robert L. Peeples said...

Anon 3:21,


I'm sure there are people in our church who are upset with Pastor Brunson. That always happens when a new pastor comes in.

Personally, I believe the church is becoming modern. This is probably why so many people in the church are upset.

Still, you have to ask yourself;
Is this blog really the best way to approach these issues that so many people have with the pastor. I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog what have you found out about the FINANCIAL COMMITTEE? Do we have one or not?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I don't know about the finance committee for sure. I would be flabbergasted on one hand if we actually did away with it - I just couldn't fathom that - especially if it was done as a part of the bylaw changes last November. But on the other hand I suppose it wouldn't surprise me either.

If its true, and I can confirm it, I will do an article on that to bring attention to it. If anyone knows the truth please email me.

Anonymous said...

Robert your way did not work and will not work. We have tried the scriptual way. Brunson will not change. You think this blog must end. It will not end while error continues to surface in the Mac Brunson camp. I would not even attempt to put words into the mouth of Watchdog. He will shut down when he is good and well pleased. We are thankful for the opertunity to cast some light on the many twisted things contained in the Purpose Driven movement which is permeating many of the Baptist churches. FBC JAX in particular. You think the church is going modern. The Modernist Movement has already been tried and failed. It failed because of strong conservative preachers like we have had before Mac Brunson. We hope that Mac Brunson will continue to follow our past pastors and stay in the conservative camp. Many of us think he is moving into the SEEKER SENSITIVE CAMP. The evidence is everywhere. We will see!

Anonymous said...

Anon: 4:30

You stated..."Robert your way did not work and will not work. We have tried the scriptual way" ... it seems you are infering if the "scriptual way" doesn't work we will do it our way?

Anonymous said...

June 11,2008 9:40 AM

Trinity has gotten what they asked for....I just hope the people of FBC will use their discernment before it is too late.

Psalm 106:15
And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

Anonymous said...

ANON 4:54 No brother; all I'm saying is that we have tried the scripural way and apperantly it failed. We will not know what effect our conversation have had on Mac Brunson. We have seen no changes.

Anonymous said...

new here,Hi friends in Christ.
I have offen wondered if Rodney Brooks leaving 1 year after Mac become pastor was a coincidence or not.

Anonymous said...

Rodney saw this change coming and was proactive in leaving. He and Barry both. Our church lost the two best music/media persons in the country.

Anonymous said...

Rodney clearly explained to the choir that God had led him in a new direction. He told me personally that he loved Pastor Brunson and had never experienced so much freedom in his ministry. He stated specifically, that God was leading him elsewhere.

He was approached by Dr. Stanley. Rodney was not evel looking to go elsewhere. He specifically told the choir that he would have LOVED to retire at FBC. He also told them about the gossip mill (example: blogs) and told the choir to tell people the truth WHEN and IF people began to state otherwise.

PS: We, in turn, were blessed by Dr. Whitmire who is doing an unbelievable job in leading us in worship and helping in the transition.

Anonymous said...

According to this blogger and the actions of WD, don't do it scripturally, do it man's way.

"Robert your way did not work and will not work. We have tried the scriptual way. Brunson will not change. You think this blog must end. It will not end"

Robert, at least they realize that you follow the word of God. I hope and pray your meeting with Pastor Brunson is productive.

There is no reason to ask our pastor about a "land deal" because there was none. I'm glad guys are stepping up to the plate and doing the work of the ministry.

Anonymous said...

I would like to add to my earlier post on Rodney & Barry.

Having been a part of the music ministry for a long time at our church was a tremendous blessing. Although not the topic of this particular "Don't Accept Gifts" blog, I must say that when the old staff began leaving or terminated, I felt it was too soon and too fast for these major changes to take place. Simply my opinion of course.

When Dr. Lindsay & Dr. Vines both co-pastored they always surrounded themselves with the very best in every leadership position in our church. No exception! They wouldn't have it any other way. I knew when people like Doug Pigg, Bob Barton & Calvin Carr left that we were headed for some rough waters ahead. I will admit, my radar went up at that time. But when Rodney & Barry left, that was huge. And yes...Dr. Stanley knew exactly that he was getting the very best when he asked them to pray about coming to FBCA.
Having said this, it is simply astonishing to watch as our church staff has been replaced one by one and other major changes rapidly take place with debt looming ahead. Can anyone who has been around for any length of time say the words "Dr. Lindsay & debt" in the same breath? No, not a chance, never would happen because he wouldn't have any part of it.

I will say this. I only hope and pray that the current direction of our church is God's will for us. If it is not, God will take His hand off FBCJ.

Anonymous said...

For a church our size we do not need any debt. Why should we start now? Brunson left Dallas with $10 mill in debt. He failed to deliver on his VISION OF FINANCING. Dallas lost trust in him. He did not produce. The fact of the matter is Mac does not care if we go into debt as long as he can get quick results. Then what is he going to do next. Jump ship and leave us with $50 mill debt. It could be worse.

It has been said that we have no finance committee. If that is so, who do we have in the church that will protect us from this mismanagement of God's tithes and offerings. When you take on debt you must repay that debt with interest. The Lord said owe no man nothing. You talk about poor leadership. If we take on debt Mac Brunson should leave. He that knoweth to do right and doeth it not to him it is sin.

Where are the deacons? If the deacons let this happen they should resign. They should resign because they will not tell the pastor he is mishandleing God's money. I have not lost confidence in the deacons yet, but they are borderline incompetant. They have set back and alowed Mac to come in here and move our church away from the great church that we were into somthing we should not be. Purpose Driven/Seeker Friendly. It is time for the deacons to stand up and be the ordained deacons that they are supposed to be.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hold on...let's not get the cart before the horse.

Mac Brunson hasn't proposed any debt yet. However, I agree it could be in his plans. The Sunday night where he answered a few question he knew we had he addressed debt by saying (paraphrasing): "We are not in debt, we have not borrowed money, so for those of you who not borrowing is 'your thing', I can assure you we have not assumed any debt". So he talked in a slightly condescending way toward those who might be concerned over debt, and said we aren't in debt, but didn't express any desire to NOT be in debt.

But having said that, we can't criticize the man for something he hasn't done yet! Sure, its worth viewing his actions with a skeptical eye, given that he did go back on his plan at Dallas (which was to not break ground on the Criswell Building until 50% cash was in hand, and the other 50% was pledged). So whatever his capital plan he tries to sell us: "BUYER" BEWARE!

Now, about debt. I know we haven't assumed debt in the past, and we've paid as we went. I know many would say that is "God's way" and we should absolutely not assume debt. However, I won't say never to debt as long as: hear me carefully before criticizing me: provided that Mac is open and honest and transparent with his congregation about the plan, and he allows the church to express their conviction through pledges. Mac will NEVER say "let's borrow 20 million bucks". What he will say is "let's break ground based on pledges over a 3 or 4 year period". If he tries to do what he did in Dallas, that won't cut it. Gotta be up front with us. I don't have great hopes for Mac in this given his behavior up to this point.

About the finance committee and deacons resigning and "mishandling" God's money: if its true that Mac did away with the finance committee, then we should be concerned and the church should demand an explanation - not in the pastor's office one-by-one, but TO THE CHURCH. But I'd like confirmation about the finance committee going away, if it was done in the bylaw changes, why the committee was done away with if it was, and according to the bylaws what lay leaders now have that responsibility. So no need to call for deacons to resign or claim money is being mishandled. Let's get the facts straight.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

If any members have access to the new bylaws and would like to share them with the church as they should have been before the vote was taken last year, please scan them and email them to me and I'll make them available to all. Then we can see if the finance committee is still in tact...and if the $25,000 congregation approval requirement was removed.

Anonymous said...

Is FBCJ ready to be downsized? Can you imagine the inside of our church being downsized. That is right brothers he is going to make our church smaller. THAT IS PART OF THE VISION. The logic blows my mind. Take over a church and make it smaller. That is real leadership. Mac can not fill it up even with his intetainment program. He said that he does not like preaching to a partially filled church. Well Mac, start preaching the GOSPEL and you will have standing room only. Listen folks, he could fill this place overnight if he would get out of the Seeker Friendly mentality. It looks,to me, like he has forgotten who he is and is now relying on Rick Warren's way to grow the church.

Dr. Mac Brunson have you forgotten Acts 1:8?

But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Looking unto JESUS the author and finnisher of our faith.

Pastor get your eyes back on Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I want to set the record straight.
A Lexus is a Toyota.
A Jaguar (that year) is a Ford.
Luxury please.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 2:36 - and a $60,000 Caddy is a GM. What's your point?

Can you please explain yourself a little more clearly?

Robert L. Peeples said...

I think the anon is saying that the Brunsons do not really live a life of lavish luxury.

Luxury would be a rolles royce (if that's how you spell it).

Anonymous said...

Speaking of cars...I heard that when Dr. B came on...part of his package included the lease of his Lexus...can anyone verify? I'm guessing that could be another thing we will never be privy too since the financial records are inaccessable to the general membership? Did he have that perk in Dallas?

Anonymous said...

Let me see now,
5000 sq ft house $1 million
Lexus
Jag
$350,000 per year
Trip to the Greek Isls
Two week Holly land trip

Just barely getting by! Poor Mac!

Robert L. Peeples said...

How can you confirm the pastor makes $350,000 a year. How did that even get started?

Anonymous said...

Many churches give their pastor's perks car leases and they are not all mega churches.
As far as staff leaving. It was timem - Dr. Whitmore has brought a spirit of worship to the services that hasn't been present in years.
The choir has never sounded better and he takes you into the presnce of God. It is not "The Rodney Brooks Show" any longer.

Anonymous said...

Annon. 3:40 Dont' forget, he gets paid for the boat trips, the books sold, other speaking engagements. Will someone please educate Robert, or would it make any difference?

My question is: Why do we need all of these Grand Plans? It just looks like much ado with no purpose than to appear to be busy changing the church. We DON'T need changing. It appears that we have lost members!!! We need PREACHING. That would be a change!!!

Anonymous said...

II Timothy 3:15
And that from a child thou hast known the "BIBLE THOUGHTS TAUGHT IN PRESCHOOL" , which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Rumors get started when the leadership refuses to be open with those that give the money.

It is at least $350,000. And then the housing allowance is over $100,000. And then his wife makes $80,000 and his son makes $47,500. If you don't believe me, check it out for yourself. And these numbers do not take into account auto allowances, expense accounts and on and on.

Anonymous said...

Robert the $350K honestly seems a little low to me. He was making between $300-350K in Dallas. I can't imagine him making a move for under $400-450K range.

Throw in Debbie's salary and I bet between them its half a mil. Plus the land for the house. And now perhaps a car? I don't know if he got a free car in Dallas or not. Debbie drove a BMW for a while, Mac had a Lexus.

And Robert... please... think before typing. For you to come on here and state that a Jag or a Lexus is not a luxury car, but just a normal every day car like a Ford or a Toyota -- I don't even know how to respond to that. And then to state that in order to have a luxury car you would need a Rolls Royce? Did you really mean that? Seriously?

OK, I just have to ask. What kind of car was it that you grew up back seat driving your brother around in so that you now think Lexus and Jags aren't luxury cars?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

This is an anon post made today in the Holy Land article that I'm putting here for more to see:

First let me say, thank you to Mr. Peeples for being a man of honor and integrity. Only bitter, resentful people start nasty, venom-spewing blogs like this Watchdog person. I am disgusted by the way this Watchdog criticizes OUR Pastor, the leader of our flock....I know Dr. Brunson personally and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is a man of God. I have not frequented this blog as I truly feel it isn't pleasing to the Lord, especially when it is full of bitterness, complaining, resentful and petty opinions expressed by a handful of people. The majority of people at FBC love our pastor and support him. Mr. Watchdog......isn't it time to stop this nonesense? Don't you realize you are the one that is not being Christ-like? Don't you realize you are being used by the Devil to do his work? I am praying for you, that you stop this absurd blog. You are trying your best to drag a Godly man and his family through the mud, let's do something constructive and stop this before damage to our beloved pastor and his family is done.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - are you a member of Trinity? Your post is a bit frightening.

Anonymous said...

The $350 number, exclusive of other family members's salary is what I've heard.

I only bring it up because I'm jealous and wish I could make that much, and have people tell me I'm "God's man". I make a tiny fraction of that and all day long I'm dealing with customer's who tell me I'm anything but God's man.

I'm old school. I can't tell you why $350k salary is shameful, it just is. I grew up where my pastor lived modestly, certainly no better than the average struggling family. And the wife served as a lay person along side her husband, not as a highly paid staff member.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:05p.m.- instead of coming on here and asking the WD and us bloggers to stop the "nonsense", why not use your time and energy and ask the pastor to stop his nonsense? Or at least, ask him to be open and transparent about what he is doing. And tell him to give back the cash equivalent of the land to the church or to the school. That is the only "nonsense", not this blog.

If he did that, the blog might go away. Open your eyes you blind, gullible, yes man! Yes, I said that. That is what you are, sir!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Whoever said it was the "Rodney Brooks Show" when he was here doesn't know what he is talking about. Rodney never made himself to be the center of attention, far from it. He wasn't a grandstander, a "look at me" kind of guy. If you think it was the "Rodney Brooks Show" then you obviously haven't seen music ministers today who DO try to make the worship time their own show and performance.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:36 - you are not old school. That is the way it is still done in any church that is not considered a "mega" church. It is only the mega-pastors who are looked at through goo-goo eyes by some celebrity worshipping yes men. Our trustees and deacon chair are the biggest pastor worshippers and yes men I have ever seen. They ought to be ashamed to look the congregation in the eyes. Spineless, gullible, yes men. Period. And Debbie loves them for it.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

But I do agree that Jim Whitmire is a fine music minister. I'm glad he came here. Like Mac told us, its a good thing Mac was able to get him to come here when Lindsay and Vines were not.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I would stop this blog, but as Mac preached on Sunday I'm still looking for respect. My wife doesn't respect me, in fact Mac nailed it, this is all my wife's fault. If she showed me the respect I deserved, I wouldn't have to come here on this blog looking for respect. I think I'll go to the store and buy some berries and milk so I can enjoy some "dividends" tonight.

Anonymous said...

The Young Adult Minister delivered the best sermon in the last two years. He stayed on the text and did not go out into space or historical realms. I thought he did a very good job. Maybe we should hear more from the Rev Witt?
The only thing wrong was that the crowd was small. I assume the Wed night crowd is down under 1200 by now?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I agree about Rush Witt. But actually its just that after sitting under Brunson's preaching for 2 years, anytime you hear a preacher humbly but boldly and selflessly open the scripture, preach the text, preach the love of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit, and he's not angry, or trying to perform or impress or market self and family...well its like a breath of fresh air. Thank you Rev Witt. And cool beard.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

And of course if you didn't hear Rush Witt live, you won't hear it at all. Because our church can't archive any of its sermons on our website. The board of trustees stands idly by while our pastor selfishly keeps the Word from the people. Our pastor won't allow any sermons except his to hit the Internet. A church our size should be embarrassed that we don't AT LEAST provide archived audio of all sermons, Brunson's and others. We should provide archived video, but not in Mac's world.

When Brunson finally leaves and the A-Group is off our payroll, we can finally afford to use a streaming service like 316networks or something similar to start sharing sermons and our wonderful Christ honoring music with the world...and people can hear from young ministers like Rush Whitt and Marcus Allen, Jr.

Robert L. Peeples said...

I like Marcus Allen Jr. and Rev. Rush Witt and PASTOR BRUNSON!!!

Rev. Allen Jr. is doing a great job with the singles I might add.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Let's hope Mac didn't do away with our finance committee.

From his most excellent Pastor's Guidebook, p. 172 i nthe chapter "The pastor and Finances":

"The wise pastor will not handle church funds imself. He should get a finance committee to do that...the pastor can lead the church to write and adopt a financial policies and procedures manual to outline exactly how money should be handled, from receipts to disburments. Every church should have a finance committee, a church treasurer, an annual budget..."

So again: do we or do we not have a finance committee?

Robert L. Peeples said...

We have one

Robert L. Peeples said...

Watchdog,


Where can I get the pastors new book? And I want to get it for the cheapest price. Any suggestions?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Good question Robert. I really don't know. I borrowed Mac's copy on my last visit to his office so I don't know where you would buy one.

Robert L. Peeples said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FBC Jax Watchdog said...

No discussing of private parts here Robert, sorry.

Anonymous said...

WD -

Several posters have mentioned Mac's sermon this past Sunday on marriage, so I went to his website and downloaded it. I just started listening, but I was shocked that he indicated that US GNP was low due to a poor work ethic. A quick google search turned up this comparison: http://www.studentsoftheworld.info/infopays/rank/PNB2.html

US GNP is #1 in the world at $12.9 TRILLION dollars. The next closest is Japan at 4.9 TRILLION dollars.

I don't get it. Why say this? Robert, I know you are a conservative guy -- what is this about?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

For the Anon posting privately about bylaws: can you please email me? Or can you email me scanned copy of bylaws? I would like to share the bylaws with the readers of the blog.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Question, perhaps worthy of a new thread:

Are we an "elder ruled" church now, or are we still "congregational ruled"? Were the by law changes that were so secretive last fall, made to be secretive because it would be evident that the changes were to transition power from the congregation to the pastor and his "trustees" that he appoints?

It appears from information that I've received about the bylaw changes last fall, that we have been transitioned, without us even knowing it, into an "elder rule" type of church governance.

The power of the decision making rules primarily with the pastor and a small group of men called not elders but "trustees".

Finance committee was dissolved, and those men on that committee were nominated by the pastor and voted on by the church, to be "trustees".

They don't have to come to the church for approval of unbudgeted expenditures unless they are over $50,000.

To terminate a pastor the bylaws require special business meeting, but bylaws were changed so that the members can't call a special business meeting unless the board of trustees approve it. Wow.

What say you? Am I way off base? Perhaps these changes were in response to the Two Rivers fiasco? Can we call ourselves now "elder led"? Is this part of Jim Smyrl's "theology driven ministry" model?

Or perhaps the more pertinent question: DOES ANYBODY EVEN CARE?

RM said...

In all reality, I doubt that you were ever congregationally ruled. You were probably ruled by committees (selected by the church) who made decisions for a church as large as yours. That's not all bad and in all truth is how most large Baptist churches are run.

Legally, church trustees are not to do anything other than sign legal documents for the church. If yours are doing more, then you are probably in violation of state law. If the trustees are "elders" then that is Biblical but sounds like what you have isn't Biblical.

Your situation scares me...

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Good point RM, we were never a pure "congregational" led church, but we were led by committees with faithful lay people.

But when I hear that the finance committee was dissolved and its members were brought into the fold of "trustees", and this change was made in bylaw changes where the bylaws weren't handed out to church members and WORSE the pastor didn't explain ONE WORD, NOT ONE SINGLE WORD about what the changes to the bylaws were that the congregation voted on, I have to wonder if we haven't been duped into changing our church polity.

Oh well. NOTHING surprises me any more about the Brunson regime. NOTHING.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Good point RM, we were never a pure "congregational" led church, but we were led by committees with faithful lay people.

But when I hear that the finance committee was dissolved and its members were brought into the fold of "trustees", and this change was made in bylaw changes where the bylaws weren't handed out to church members and WORSE the pastor didn't explain ONE WORD, NOT ONE SINGLE WORD about what the changes to the bylaws were that the congregation voted on, I have to wonder if we haven't been duped into changing our church polity.

Oh well. NOTHING surprises me any more about the Brunson regime. NOTHING.

RM said...

I hate to ask you to do something that costs money but here goes...

In your case, I would strongly suggest that you get an attorney to review your original constitution and by-laws. (You might even be able to find one in the church that is sympathetic to your cause and won't charge you.)

Most constitutions and by-laws require a much more detailed process to change them. Changing them in one secretive vote sounds illegal and probably unethical at best.

Not sure Mac is leading you into a PD church but it sure looks like he is leading you into something you don't need or want.

Get an attorney--and get him quick.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Unethical yes. But the men that gained control of the church through the bylaw changes are not stupid. I'm sure they did it on the up and up. They changed the articles of incorporation in the same vote to increase the number of trustees to accomodate the change in the bylaws.

And they likely met the requirements in the bylaws to change the bylaws...they in a sense did make the bylaw changes "available" for review...by putting serial numbered copies in the library, requiring people to sign them out, but the people signing them out could not get copies...only for review in the library. They announced in the bulletin that the changes were in the library. They announced the vote in the bulletin well in advance. And they said that members could submit questions in writing on the changes. So they covered their bases no doubt. No need for legal review - they have themselves better lawyers on the trustee board than I could hire myself.

But the unethical part on Mac's part and the head of our trustees Mr. David Bristow is that when they called for the vote on Wed, there was absolutely no explanation about the changes in advance. I blogged about this last December how odd it was that the changes were not distributed or discussed openly.

We have what we have. And if no one cares about the pastor taking a $300k land gift from one of our donors within 3 weeks of arriving, despite his counsel to other pastors to not do the same, certainly no one is going to care about elder rule versus congregation rule.

Transition complete. Good job Team Brunson and his yes men. You did it! You changed our church polity right under our noses, took power to yourselves, the congregation couldn't get rid of Mac even if they wanted to because you changed the bylaws. Now THAT is something Mac you can write about in your next Pastor's Guidebook: How to transition a church from congregation led to elder led, and no one knows about it but you and the elders. AWESOME!